A few weeks ago, I told my parents that I would do anything to see 9 to 5 the Musical. After years of seeing the movie and listening to the original cast recording, I was ready to see the show outside of a few youtube videos. A random Facebook ad led me to hear about a local production of the show. Well, I did say I would do anything.
I was not expecting to be blown out of my seat by the sheer talent, force, and heart of North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre’s production.
In 2009, Dolly Parton’s musical, 9 to 5, opened on Broadway and earned fifteen Drama Desk Award nominations and four Tony Award nominations. The show starred Allison Janney (NBC’s The West Wing, CBS’s Mom), Stephanie J. Block (The Boy From Oz, Wicked), Megan Hilty (NBC’s SMASH, Wicked), and Marc Kudisch (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie). While the production was short-lived, it certainly lived on among Dolly and Broadway fans.
Video courtesy of ABC via youtube.
Directed by James Ilsley, NRACT’s production brings together some of the area’s most talented to bring the show to life. It should be noted that, unlike other groups, the cast and crew are volunteers – simply coming together to share their love of performing with each other and their audience.
Mary Reilly, Mary Beth Hollmann, and AC Donohue as Judy, Violet, & Doralee. Photo courtesy of nract.org.
The show stars Mary Beth Hollmann, AC Donohue, and Mary Reilly as Violet, Doralee, and Judy respectively. Alongside them, Bill Andrews plays Mr. Frank Hart, Natalie Turgeon plays Roz Keith, and David Kerman as Joe. I cannot say how talented every person in the cast is; all have powerful voices that bring down the house in every number.
A show like 9 to 5 requires a big cast to help carry the musical numbers, but the 18 performers in this production are the epitome of the phrase “less is more.” From the beginning, a video of Dolly Parton leads the cast through the tale of three women who begin to fight back against their egotistical boss. The same video continues throughout the show providing the audience with a sense of location, as the sets are limited. Following Dolly’s lead, the cast brings audience members into the offices and homes of the characters.
Overall, the production is nothing short of stellar. As mentioned, everyone involved is a volunteer – simply in it because they care. It is rare to see a live show in which everyone is performing simply for the joy of performing. Yes, the singers and actors are talented, but the passion is what makes this show shine like the sun!
9 to 5 runs until July 26! Get your tickets now!
Be sure to like NRACT on Facebook, twitter, and instagram! Also, check out their website for information about the rest of the season!