Review: 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre

Audience-pleasing 9 to 5 at CVLT

By: Apr. 17, 2024
Review: 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre
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9 to 5:  The Musical is a theatre piece based on the 1980 hit film, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and a book by Patricia Resnick.  It is now on stage at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre.

In spite of many awards, and positive audience reaction, the show’s Broadway production was brief.  After 24 previews, it only ran for 148 performances.  The 2010 national tour, in spite of a very shallow and predictable story, was generally well received.

The rock musical tells the story of three women, who have finally had it with their overbearing, sexual abusive and egotistical boss.  They kidnap him, reform their office, and, as in all good farcical fantasies, revenge the male-dominated business, and, much to the delight of the women’s lib movement lovers, take over the operation.

At the end of the “regular” storytelling, The characters deliver epilogues about what happened after the events of the story.  The boss, Hart, we are told, “was captured by natives in the jungles of Bolivia and was never seen or heard from again.”  One of our heroines, Roz, found a new love - Hart's wife.  Violet and Joe, the plays young lovers, “have been together for the past 30 years and are very happy together.”  Doralee, the second of our winners, went to Nashville and became a successful country and western singer. Judy, the remaining female avenger, stayed single and became a regular guest on “The View” after writing a bestselling book, Life Without Dick.


Though there are no songs from the score, besides the title tune, which became hits, several get strong performances in the CVT production.  “I Just Might” gets a fine interpretation by Violet (Tara Corkery), Judy (Stephanie Malfara), Doralee (Marybeth Knode) and the Ensemble.  “Portion Notion” is cutely presented by Corkery, while “Let Love Grow” is presented as a fine duet by Joe (Isaac Siemer) and, Violet, his lady love.  “Get Out and Stay Out” is a fine solo by Stephanie Malfara.

Director Breneton Cochran, seems to know his audience well, stressing the comic aspects of the show and giving the amateur performers the opportunity to over-act, pull-off many overdone double-takes, play with the audience and perform over-done actions, to the delight of those in attendance.  There are few shticks and gimmicks that Cochran doesn’t pull of out his bag of tricks.

Music Director David W. Coxe has his musicians well-tuned.  Jennifer Justice’s often over-enthusiastic choreography, which mainly consisting of straight line, synchronized movements, is a challenge for some of the cast.  In spite of that, the audience met every dance number with enthusiastic applause.

The crew deserves a special hurrah for their smoothly moving set pieces and furniture so smoothy and effectively.

Capsule judgment:  9 to 5 is not a great script nor does it have sublime music, but it is a fine vehicle for a community theatre.  It has many opportunities for actors to let loose and delight the audience, and, delight the audience is exactly what the CVLT cast, crew and musicians do! 

9 to 5 runs through April 13, 2024 at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, 40 River Street, Chagrin Falls.  For tickets go to or call 440-247-8955.


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