Back in 1980, Dabney Coleman, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin starred in a popular motion picture called 9 to 5. The premise was around three female employees of a sexist and cruel boss whom they find a way to turn the tables on. The movie, which one an Oscar for best song by Dolly Parton and several Golden Globe and Grammy Awards, had a short-lived period as a musical on Broadway but still continues to grace the stages of regional productions and London’s West End.
WISTA’s (West Island Theatre Association) upcoming edition of 9 to 5 The Musical is headed to the stage, with six performances set for June 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., as well as a June 15 matinee at the Louise Chalmers Theatre (501 Boulevard St. Jean) in Pointe-Claire.
Set in 1979, producers boast that this storyline speaks to audiences 40 years later as issues of gender inequality in the workplace and the #MeToo movement continues to make headlines. The Grammy- and Tony-nominated score features a cast of 29 performers.
“This is a show that pushes boundaries in so many aspects, and I have loved interpreting everything from the realistic to the ridiculous with the creative individuals I get to work with,” says Director Julianna Astorino. “The empowering message of the story and the community we’ve built together has truly brought so much light into my life. We have a show that is hysterical, uplifting and unapologetic in its message, and a talented cast that has worked so hard on making it all come to life. If you’re looking for a feel-good burst of energy and inspiration with striking harmonies, choreography and drama, we’ve got your covered.”
Robin Kravitz, Kaysey Hart, Joel Bernstein and Emily Brayton take on the lead roles in this show; Brayton in the role of Doralee Rhodes made famous by Parton.
“Dolly Parton’s signature flair is so deeply ingrained in this musical,” said Brayton. “While it can be a bit intimidating to try to embody such an icon, I try to bring some of myself into it and make the role my own. I have seen the movie a few times. As for the Broadway show, it had a tragically short run, so I never got the chance to see it, but luckily I’ve looked around online and found some videos of the original cast performing. That 9 to 5 song is stuck in my head most mornings when I wake up.”
Adds Hart: “What audiences will like best about the show is that we stayed true to the true late ‘70s vibe and made sure to really do this classic show justice. It is a very fun and colourful show with a great message.”
WISTA is a non-profit community theatre group founded in 2006 that allows individuals between the ages of 17 and 29 to interact and perform in the wonderful world of musical theatre.
Tickets are available through www.wista.ca/tickets