BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27

Now on stage at the Encore Theatre is the musical "9 to 5." I'd love to invite you to enjoy seeing this show, but due to its overwhelming popularity, it's completely sold out. The only possible way to get tickets is if there are cancellations. This is a smash hit for Encore Theatre, and of course, everything they do is performed to perfection. You are best off buying a season ticket so you can always see their shows.

Sarah Briggs (Roz Keith) kind of steals the show with her amazing physical comedy. I believe she has the very best role in the show. Kind of obsessively in heat for Franklin Hart, Jr., she rivals the outrageous contortions and mania of Carol Burnett. She's absolutely brilliant, and speaks some rather colorful French, too.

Judy Bernly is forced to find work after her husband, Dick, runs off with another woman. Judy finds employment as a secretary at Consolidated Companies, where the story begins. Thalia V. Schramm nails this character. I felt she had the best voice of the entire bunch, and had a chance to really shine in this show. She made Judy a compelling character, and let her transform from a dowdy, dumped wife to an emancipated butterfly. She looked amazing in her black dress during her revenge fantasy.

Stacia Fernandez starred as office manager Violet Newstead; she had wonderful likability and stage presence. She was able to draw the audience into her character's plight and move us to compassion.

Ernest William was spectacular as Franklin Hart, Jr. From the moment he walked on stage, he wreaked of sleaziness. He had that swagger of a real creep, and was bursting to the seams with arrogance. Ernest William is really versatile; I saw him on Azamara Cruises and he was a polished, delightful gentleman in real life.

Alex Koza (Doralee Rhoades) was raised in Tennessee, but I was really thrown by the southern accent she was using. I used to live in the heart of Dixie, too, and I never heard words pronounced like that before. I just got back from Tennessee where I saw the total solar eclipse. I didn't hear anyone speaking like that either. It must be an accent from an isolated community... it was jarring to listen to. Fortunately she's beautiful, so who cares.

Based on the hit movie with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, "9 to 5 The Musical" is a story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era. The title song, "9 to 5," has become the working woman's anthem. 9 to 5 the film is number 74 on the American Film Institute's "100 Funniest Movies" and has an 82% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

The plot shines a spotlight on the plight of women in the workplace in the late 1970s. Pushed to the boiling point, three female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with the boss. In a turn of events, Violet, Judy and Doralee (played in the movie by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton) live out their wildest fantasy - giving their boss the boot! While Hart remains "otherwise engaged," the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down.

Encore's production of 9 to 5 stars Broadway's Stacia Fernandez and Las Vegas based Ernest William. 9 to 5 is directed by Ray Frewen with Musical Direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis.

9 TO 5 runs through August 27th. Showtimes: Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, Sunday at 3:00pm.

Tickets: Adults $35; $33 Seniors, Encore 100 Member; $31 Groups of 10 or more or Children under 17.

About Stacia Fernandez... (Violet Newstead)

Broadway appearances: Mamma Mia! (Tanya), The Drowsy Chaperone, Swing, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Beauty and the Beast. Regional appearances: Night at the Iguana (with James Earl Jones at A.R.T.), Next to Normal, Guys and Dolls, CATS, Death of Salesman, Dreams for a Summer House, and more. TV: "Homeland", "Middle (ST)Age" (wrote and starred in for Stage17.tv), Film: Frozen, Enchanted, Shaggy Dogg. Stacia is also a playwright: A Smallville Christmas, The Loop, and Sticky Fingers. Twitter: @Fernandezstacia; Website: www.staciafernandez.com.

About Ernest William... (Franklin Hart, Jr.)

A Southern California native but now a Las Vegas resident, and has been entertaining audiences for nearly 3 decades. He has starred on Broadway National Tours and Off-Broadway, European & Las Vegas stages. From 1994 to 2011 he starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's roller-skating musical, Starlight Express in both the Las Vegas and German Companies (over 3,000 performances) and also as both the Beast & Gaston on the Broadway National Tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Off-Broadway saw him in the Drama Desk Award winning show, Toxic Audio's Loudmouth. He was also understudy to 70's pop icon, David Cassidy in the multi-million dollar spectacular, EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. He played Harry the Horse in Guys & Dolls for BK Agency out of New York for the Macau International Music Festival. One of his favorite roles of all time is Billy Flynn in the Namco Produced, Chicago. Ernest has developed his one man show, Direct from Vegas, and headlined for Azamara Club Cruises since 2015.

Alex Koza (Doralee Rhoades) was born in Arizona, raised in Tennessee, went to school in Chicago, just moved to New York, and now performing in Michigan! Alex is so excited to be making her professional stage debut at The Encore, and hopefully it's the first of many more. Favorite roles include Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical, "Day by Day" Soloist in Godspell, and Farrah the Fairy in She Kills Monsters.

Thalia V. Schramm (Judy Bernly) was last seen on The Encore stage in The Full Monty (Georgie) last fall. Encore on-stage credits include: Into the Woods (The Baker's Wife), Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), The Fantasticks (Luisa), Evita in Concert (Eva Peron), Lend Me a Tenor (Maggie), The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Olive), and The Last 5 Years (Cathy). Other Michigan credits include: Evil Dead the Musical (Linda) with Olympia Entertainment in Detroit, A Little Night Music (Anne) and Jerry's Girls with Performance Network Theatre.

Anne Bauman (Margaret/Ensemble) is delighted to be back at The Encore in this amazing production of 9 to 5 the Musical! She has been active at The Encore, both on and off stage, since the very first season. Some favorite Encore credits include: My Fair Lady (Ensemble), Les Misérables (Beggar Woman), Little Women (Aunt March); Fiddler on the Roof (Fruma Sarah); It's a Wonderful Life (Ma Bailey); Damn Yankees (Sister); and Guys and Dolls (General Cartwright). Elsewhere, favorite roles include: Home for the Holidays (Mrs. C); The Bridges of Madison County (Ginny/Ensemble); Follies (Carlotta Campion); The Curious Savage (Ethel Savage); and Plaza Suite (Norma Hubley).

Timothy Brayman (Ensemble) is a veteran actor, who is majoring in Performance Theatre with a minor in Backstage Design at Eastern Michigan University. 9 to 5 is Tim's 40th production at the Encore, as the Technical Director, ASM or Actor; you may have seen him in My Fair Lady (George) or Into the Woods (Milky White).

Sarah Briggs (Roz Keith) is thrilled to be returning to The Encore after playing Billie in the developmental premiere of Into the Wild this past Spring. Recent credits include The Full Monty (Vicki Nichols), Assassins (Sara Jane Moore), Sugar Plum Panto (Clara) with Theater Nova, Rosie the Riveter (Katherine - Wilde Award Nomination) and Beanstalk: The Musical! (Mama - Wilde Award Nomination) with Wild Swan Theater. She has toured extensively throughout Michigan with Wild Swan and Timeless Tales Theater, bringing shows such shows as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Snow White), and Under the African Sky (Spider, Sky God, Hippo) to children of all ages. Past credits include Lucia di Lammermoor (Alisa) and Rusalka (Rusalka) with Hawaii Opera Theater and Opera Express.

Kasey Donnelly (Kathy/Ensemble) is happy to return to The Encore after having the pleasure of being in both The Full Monty and Mary Poppins. Kasey is thrilled to be returning! Some of her favorite past credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Legally Blonde (Paulette), and The Birthday Party (Meg Boles).

Josh England (Josh/Ensemble) is so excited to be making his Encore debut! Josh is going to be a freshman Musical Theatre major in the fall at Oakland University. Some of his favorite high school credits include Dance Captain for How to Succeed in Business and Ensemble for Nice Work If You Can Get It. While in high school Josh was involved in 12 shows.

ebastian Gerstner (Joe/Ensemble) is ecstatic to be back at The Encore. Recent credits include Mary Poppins (Bert), Camelot, Monty Python's Spamalot (Patsy), Forever Plaid, Lend Me a Tenor (Max), and two one man shows: Buyer and Cellar and Chesapeake. He was honored to receive Wilde Awards for his performances as Patsy in Spamalot at The Encore and his one man show Chesapeake which played at Theater Nova. Choreography credits include Evil Dead at Michigan State University, Carousel at The Encore Theater, and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Spamalot at Community High School.

Bryana Hall (Maria/Ensemble) is, as always, thrilled to be back at The Encore, where she was most recently seen stepping in time with the company of Mary Poppins (Miss Lark/Dance Captain). Previous Encore credits include Company (Kathy/Dance Captain), the world premiere of Christmas Caroled!, The Full Monty (Joanie), The Wizard of Oz (Dance Captain), Monty Python's Spamalot, and Les Misérables. Other favorite credits include: Choreography for The Dio's recent smash hit, Forever Plaid, Agnes of God (Agnes), The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix the Aviatrix), and Rent (Mimi).

Daniel A. Helmer (Dick/Ensemble) is honored to be part of 9 to 5, returning to The Encore's stage after Camelot, Into the Wild (Wayne), Mary Poppins (George Banks), and Noises Off! (Lloyd). 9 to 5 was unknown to Daniel at the beginning of this process, but Dolly Parton's talent and work ethic is too legendary to miss. Few in this world have accomplished what she has, and while we laugh and enjoy tonight, we honor her drive and love for music and acting. Thanks to Ms. Parton and all driven people.

Erika Jost (Daphne/Ensemble) is excited to return for the third time to The Encore! You may have caught her in Spamalot and Christmas Caroled. Erika Jost is a lifelong dancer trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical at the Turning Pointe School for the Performing Arts in St. Clair Shores, MI. These days she works on the creative team at Young People's Theater in Ann Arbor, where she most recently choreographed Beauty and the Beast.

Dan Laird (Bob Enright/Ensemble) is a Junior studying Management in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University with minors in Economics and Musical Theatre. He is excited to be making his debut performance at the Encore in 9 to 5.

Gabrielle Minchella (Anita/Ensemble) is a recent graduate from Oakland University where she received her BFA in Musical Theatre. She was most recently seen as Moana in the Detroit Princess Cabaret as well as Diana Moralas in A Chorus Line (Oakland University) Some of her other favorite roles that she has had the opportunity to play are Adela in The House of Bernarda Alba (Oakland University) and Jasmine in Aladdin and the Magic Lamp (Etico Productions).

Billy Eric Robinson (Dwayne/Ensemble) is fresh from earning his BFA in Musical Theatre from Oakland University and is thrilled to be working with The Encore this Summer. You may recognize him from the ensemble of Camelot. This September you can also see Billy as Toby in Encore's production of Sweeney Todd. Past Credits include-Outvisible Theatre Company: Dog Sees God (CB), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Adam), Oakland University: She Loves Me (Georg), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Percy Blakeny), Love's Labour's Lost (Berowne), Assassins (John Hinckley Jr.), and Dogfight (Boland).

JarEd Scott (Carl Dean/Ensemble) is honored and beyond excited to be in his first show at The Encore Musical Theatre Company! This is his first show in a professional theater, however, Jared has been heavily involved with his school's drama club since freshman year. His favorite moments include playing roles such as Roger in Grease and Lionel in Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella, serving as Improv Captain for a year, and co-writing and directing an original show with one of his close friends.

Maika Van Oosterhout (Missy/Ensemble) is happy to be continuing her summer of theatre at The Encore! She is from Harrison, MI, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Central Michigan University. Over the past few years, she has been involved with several professional theaters in Michigan, including the Great Escape Stage Company, The Penny Seats, and, of course, The Encore, where she as been seen in South Pacific, The Wizard of Oz, and just recently, Camelot. Favorite credits include Hope Cladwell in Urinetown and Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, for which she was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical at the 2016 Wilde Awards.

About Ray Frewen (Director) is an award-winning actor and director who has been active in Chicago theatre for over 30 years. He is the former Associate Producer at Apple Tree Theatre and longtime Artistic Director at Drury Lane Oakbrook, where he directed over sixty productions, including The Jeff Award winning 1776, and received Jeff nominations, After Dark Awards and/or Chicago Stage Talk Awards for My Fair Lady, Kiss Me, Kate, Tintypes, A Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph...Dreamcoat, Evita, My One and Only, Crazy for You, and Shenandoah. He has directed productions for Apple Tree, Marriott's Lincolnshire, Spartan Theatre, Fearless Theatre, Moraine Valley College, and Northern Illinois University and The School of the Performing Arts. Well known as a Chicago actor for over 30 years, Ray spent a year with the National Tour of Les Misérables (where he first met a young Dan Cooney!) and was seen in both the Chicago and Off-Broadway productions of The Foreigner. He has appeared in over 50 productions at Miami's Cocoanut Grove, Marriott's Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Candlelight, Drury Lane South, Wisdom Bridge, Apple Tree, Court Theatre (as Oscar Wilde in Tom Stoppard's Invention of Love), and others in such roles as Arthur in Camelot, Capt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly!, The Duke/Dr.Carasco in Man of La Mancha, and Zach in A Chorus Line. He earned Jefferson nominations as The King in The King and I, The Rothschilds, and twice for his portrayal of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, for which he also received an After Dark Award. He was seen in the Ovations productions of Call Me Madam, with Joanne Worley, Fred Willard and Malcolm Getz, One Touch of Venus, with Liz Calloway, and Promises, Promises, with George Hearn and Jason Graae in addition to the Ravinia Festival as part of the Sondheim at 75 Celebration in Passion, with Patty Lupone, Michael Cerveris and Audra MacDonald and A Little Night Music with Patti LuPone and George Hearn. Currently an Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Theatre Conservatory at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, Ray has directed Rent, Sweeney Todd, Urinetown, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Assassins, The Baker's Wife, Godspell, Sunday in the Park with George, A Flea in Her Ear, Starting Here Starting Now, Ripper, Almost Maine and numerous showcase reviews. He also acted with students at CCPA in The Tempest, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The Cradle Will Rock.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.

BWW Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at ENCORE THEATRE Thru Aug 27
MICHELE ANLIKER PHOTOGRAPHY. 9 TO 5.




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