Review: 9 TO 5 at Fulton Theatre

What a way to make a living!

By: Mar. 03, 2024
Review: 9 TO 5 at Fulton Theatre
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The Fulton brings the musical version of the feminist farce, 9 to 5 to the mainstage.  Based on the 1980 film of the same name, the plot follows three secretaries and their struggles and triumphs against their sexist, narcissist of a boss.  The show stars Carolyn Ann Miller (Doralee), Katie Sina (Violet), and Kennedy Caughell (Judy) in the roles made famous by Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda, respectively. Hats off to casting for finding three actresses that successfully embody the essence of their counterparts while also bringing their own talents and personality to the stage.

All three actresses have their individual moments to shine, such as with Caughell’s emotional act 2 song, Get Out and Stay Out, or Miller’s funny cowgirl fantasy dance.  However, the trio works best when they are playing off of one another.  There is a great sense of chemistry and shared community among the three women.

Will Ray does a good job as the villainous boss, Franklin Hart.  He walks the line between being a bully and a buffoon.

Rounding out the main cast is Fulton favorite and scene stealer, Charis Leos. She plays  the brown-nosing office tattle-tale, Roz.  Leos brings tremendous humor and energy to any part she plays.  I’d buy a ticket to watch her read the terms and conditions of a new iPhone.

The other unsung star of the show is the massive digital projector backdrop.  The space was used in many different ways, some practical, others imaginative. Many of the images were very funny, but I’d prefer not to spoil some of the surprises.

The plot of the musical sticks very closely (arguably, too closely) to the movie.  Scenes, events, and even many jokes are similar, if not identical.  I prefer when adaptions have the courage to stray a bit and add something new to the mixture.  However, perhaps the thinking is that if it isn’t broke, why try to fix it?

Music and lyrics of all of the songs are credited to Dolly Parton.  Beyond the iconic title song, I really enjoyed Roz’s creepy love song, Heart to Hart, and Judy’s emotionally satisfying, Get Out and Stay Out.

9 to 5 is an enjoyable show.  Its themes of women empowerment and taking a stand against misogyny are unfortunately, just as relevant now as they were 40 years ago.   At least now, you get some laughs along the way.


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