Reviewd by Janice Bailey
The Met’s current production of 9 to 5 is the stage musical based on the 1980’s film of the same name, with music written by Dolly Parton. The film was immensely popular in its day, starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. As is sometimes the case with such an iconic film, it doesn’t always translate to the stage as effectively. That being said, it is still enjoyable, mainly because of the music. Under the capable direction of Jillian Gulliver, the orchestra doesn’t disappoint. Carmel Vistoli’s choreography is, as always, interesting and colourful. Director, Selena Britz, has assembled a diverse cast with a wide range of experience, and on the whole the show is well-paced and flows smoothly.
Fed up with their sexist, lying boss, Franklin Hart Jnr, three female co-workers devise a plan to get even with him by taking over the company – in the process they discover there’s nothing they can’t do in a man’s world. Greg Hart plays Franklin Hart Jnr with his usual flair. Trish Hart adds to her long list of Met shows with a feisty and consummate performance as Violet Newstead, the ‘brains’ behind the company ‘takeover’. Kristen Hatty delivers a very good performance as Judy Bernley. Lucy Carey is likeable as Doralee Rhodes but is less believable because of the image we have of the Dolly Parton character.
The set design by Leonie Osborn and Selena Britz is effective with Jason Groves’s lighting design adding to the overall impact. Costumes co-ordinated by Leonie Osborn and Carmel Vistoli are colourful and true to the era, creating impact in the chorus numbers.
9 to 5 exudes glitzy pizazz while still maintaining that downtown, fun-loving spirit that Dolly Parton is all about. While it may not be a challenging storyline or ‘highbrow’’, 9 to 5 is great escapist entertainment and well worth a look.
A scene from 9 to 5 with Lucy Carey (Doralee), Greg Hart (Franklin Hart Jnr) and some chorus