Review: 9 TO 5 at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre

At the Hjemkomst Center

By: Jul. 23, 2022
Review: 9 TO 5 at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre

9 to 5 is a 2008 stage adaptation of the classic 1980 comedy movie starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Lilly Tomlin and Dabney Coleman. The musical features music & lyrics by Dolly Parton. Dolly also wrote the title song for the 1980 movie.

For anyone not familiar, the basic plot is about three secretaries that team up to get revenge on their sexist boss. This show is non-stop laughs and great music. From the opening number of 9 to 5 you will be dancing in your seat, tapping your feet and singing along. Even people who don;t know the show, probably have heard that song.

I have said this often, but I love seeing a stage production I have never seen before, it's always a treat. I probably haven't seen the movie since I was a kid, many years ago. Thank you to Director Judy Lewis for helping to bring this show to the stage. I saw many familiar faces on state and so many new ones also.

Now lets get to the standouts for me.

Shanna Franzen as Violet played the "leader" of the secretaries so well. This was a great casting choice, as were all of the main characters. I loved the interactions with Violet and the other characters. Great comedic timing also. I really enjoyed some of her scenes with Joe and also with Hart. Some of her vocal standouts were on "9 to 5", "I Just Might", "Potion Notion", "Shine Like The Sun", "Let Love Grow" and "One of the Boys". This is the first time I remember seeing Shanna in a lead, but hopefully not the last.Review: 9 TO 5 at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre

Ellery Lystad as Doralee was another wonderful choice. I still remember the first time I saw her on stage back in 2018 in the FMCT production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. She has the Dolly Parton Texas accent down and the personality to match. Another one with great comedic timing. She had some fun scenes with Hart and the other leads as well. I really loved her vocals on "9 to 5", "Backwards Barbie", "Cowgirls Revenge" and "Change It".

Hannah Hagler, another that I do not believe I have seen in a lead before, as Judy was amazing. Judy is the new girl with no experience. Her first few scenes are so funny. Her comedic timing and stage presence are top notch. Her vocals were wonderful on "9 to 5", "I Just Might", "The Dance of Death"and it possibly the best solo of the night "Get Out and Stay Out" in which she hits some powerful notes.Review: 9 TO 5 at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre

Tony Peterson as Franklin Hart Jr was hilarious. He played the sexist, rude and despicable boss so well. His scene with Doralee during "Here for You" was one of the funniest parts of the show. Tony is funny, has great vocals and wonderful stage presence. I always love seeing him on stage.

Shelby Cochran as Roz was another fun character. She is secretly in love with Mr. Hart and has some great scenes with him. She absolutely kills it on the hilarious "Heart to Hart".

Review: 9 TO 5 at Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre The rest of the cast and ensemble were so good. From the opening to the closing number. The dancing choreographed by Kathy Hanson was so good. Costume Designer Shelly Hurt-Geist did such a wonderful job bringing us back to the 1970's. Scenic & Lighting Designer Rick Lewis did a superb job. Musical Director Billy Kidd always does a great job. During the show we are treated to a few "movies" that were put together wonderfully by Lucas Rutten who was in charge of Filmography / Editing.

Hopefully by the time this is published you will still have time to see the show, but they were selling out!

Congrats again to EVERYONE involved in this show.

*** Photo Credit to Perry Rust.