Expectations are high as '9-5' is being brought to the stage of An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny for the first time this evening by the Letterkenny Musical Society.
You may not have seen the musical before, but you very possibly know the story.
In 1980, Patricia Resnick and Colin Higgins wrote a movie screenplay about three secretaries who turn the tables on their boss in an office driven by chauvinism.
The resulting film, which Higgins directed, starred Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and was called Nine to Five. The producers asked Dolly to write the theme song, and she ended up producing one of the biggest hits of that era.
Over 20 years later, the film was adapted for the musical stage, with Dolly writing a number of new songs, combining country with rock and roll, along with some big band swing and anthemic ballads.
The musical arrangers of ‘Wicked’ were both brought in to orchestrate and arrange Dolly’s songs ahead of 9 to 5’s Broadway opening in 2009. The result is a score which is unmistakably Dolly’s, but sits comfortably beside any show on Broadway or the West End.
For lovers of the film, the story will be familiar. Indeed, large sections of dialogue are unchanged. After a shaky Violet Newstead, Doralee Rhodes and Judy Bernley unite to get the upper hand on their boss, the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot Franklin Hart.
They do so in a way that is outrageously funny, with moments of heart-warming beauty and a little bit of social commentary.
Nicola Shields plays Violet, Rachel Akkoç plays Judy and Ciara Gallagher takes on the challenge of channeling Dolly as she brings Doralee to the stage. Franklin Hart is played by Giles Murray, who does it worryingly well!
Apart from Hart, their nemesis is Roz Keith, a supervisor who is in love with Hart and believes the way to his heart is to be his office snitch, reporting back to him on everything that happens. Maria Rushe plays Roz,
Kieran Connor plays Joe, the junior accountant who’s in love with Violet, Joe Harley plays Doralee’s husband Dwayne, while Anthony McGarrigle plays Dick., Judy’s ex-husband. Ben Bradley is Josh, Violet’s son, Laura Harvey plays Hart’s wife Missy, while Mariosa Bryce, Andrea Logue and Lorraine Porter are Kathy, Maria and Margaret, the epicentre of the office’s……..shall we say ‘unofficial communication centre’!
The show is produced by Noel O’Donnell and directed by Donal Kavanagh and Maria Rushe, with musical direction by Mark Bradley and choreography by Rebecca Thompson.
It’s the first time 9 to 5 has been presented in Donegal, and Letterkenny Musical Society is proud to be doing so at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny from Tuesday February 27th to Saturday, March 3rd.