Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse

An energetic and fun adaptation of the classic film serves as Titusville Playhouse's 59th season opener

By: Aug. 06, 2023
Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse
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Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse In 1979, the office was a very different place than it is today. Secretarial pools, typewriters, and carbon copy memos were regular fixtures as was, unfortunately, blatant misogyny and sexism in the workplace. Thankfully, we have grown and evolved as a society since then, but sometimes looking back on those times can give us perspective on our current world, and can, in fact, be quite entertaining as well. That’s certainly the case with Titusville Playhouse’s 59th season opener, 9 TO 5 – THE MUSICAL, an energetic and funny adaptation of the classic film.

Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse 9 TO 5 – THE MUSICAL, like its namesake film (which starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton) features the title song by Dolly Parton, who has written an expanded country flavored score to accompany a book by Patricia Resnick. The story faithfully follows the film plot with a few embellishments and, of course, musical theatre moments. The musical focuses on three women, all workers at a generic company, Consolidated, in 1979. There’s Violet Newstead (Erica deJongh) the veteran office worker vying for a promotion and keeping things operating as efficiently as she can, Judy Bernly (Samantha Grace Sostak), a fresh (and unqualified) new hire who is starting her life over after a messy divorce, and Doralee Rhodes (Angela Tims), the beautiful and buxom, “Backwoods Barbie” with an office reputation. The three ladies soon form a common bond over their hatred of the boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Chris deJongh), a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot” who exercises his power over the office, holds back the highly qualified Violet, and constantly makes lewd advances towards Doralee. Soon the three newly minted friends find themselves in an unlikely situation, with Mr. Hart kidnapped and tied up in his own home while they try and save their own skins (and improve office life at the same time.) The plot is thin, but the laughs are plentiful as the story builds to the requisite musical comedy happy ending.

Director Steven Heron has done a great job bringing this familiar story to vivid life on the Titusville Playhouse stage. He has brought together an extremely talented cast that captures the essence of these familiar characters extremely well. His staging is solid and moves the story forward at an effective pace – perfect for a light and fun musical like 9 TO 5.

Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse The cast of Titusville’s 9 TO 5 – THE MUSICAL has a blast on stage and that energy is infectious from the first chords to the final bows. Embodying the roles of Violet, Judy and Doralee are three extremely talented actresses, who each bring powerful voices and strong performances to their respective characters. Erica deJongh’s Violet is no-nonsense, hard as nails (but with a soft heart), Samantha Grace Sostak’s Judy is goofy, but loveable, and Angela Tims channels the queen herself, Dolly Parton, in her portrayal of Doralee, especially in the vocalization of her signature number “Backwoods Barbie”. Chris deJongh is great as the slimy boss, Franklin Hart, Jr., Tianna Stevens does a great job bringing his lovesick assistant, Roz Keith to life on stage and Kyle Sullivan gives a solid performance as junior accountant and Violet’s unlikely love interest, Joe.

Review: 9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse Spencer Crosswell’s music direction (and sound design) creates a solid ensemble sound and coaxes some powerhouse performances from the leading ladies. The choreography, by Jordyn Linkous is fun and electric as are his costume and wig designs which perfectly capture the colorful patterns and feathered hairstyles of the period. Eric Norton’s scenic designs and Niko Stamos' projections are a visual feast, with colorful abstract, architectural patterns flanking the stage which provide the perfect canvas for Davis Vande Steeg’s rainbow-hued lighting.

Overall, 9 TO 5 – THE MUSICAL is the perfect choice for Titusville Playhouse to offer as its 59th season opener. It is a light, fun, toe-tapping musical that blends the familiar with the new and provides a nostalgic look at a bygone era that today, 43 years later, seems more fiction than reality. And like so many productions on the Titusville Playhouse stage, 9 TO 5 is of the highest quality, delivering a great night out at the theatre for everyone present.

9 TO 5 - THE MUSICAL, presented by Titusville Playhouse, runs through August 20th. Performances take place at the Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia Street, Titusville, FL 32796. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.TitusvillePlayhouse.com or calling (321) 268-1125.

All Photos by Niko Stamos, Titusville Playhouse

Headline Photo: Samantha Grace Sostak as Judy, Erica deJongh as Violet & Angela Tims as Doralee

Top Photo: Samantha Grace Sostak as Judy, Christopher deJongh as Franklin Hart, Erica deJongh as Violet & Angela Tims as Doralee

Middle Photo 1: Erica deJongh as Violet, Angela Tims as Doralee & Samantha Grace Sostak as Judy

Middle Photo 2: The Cast of 9 to 5 the musical

Bottom Photo: The Cast of 9 to 5 the musical




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