With book by Patricia Resnick and music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, The Players Theatre production of “9 to 5” is a farcically entertaining retrospective on office politics gone wild, circa 1979. Although much has changed since then, the show still provides a winning wish-fulfillment fantasy in which girls rightly rule, and the male chauvinist malefactor gets his just desserts.
The musical, which is based on the movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, is introduced on a screen projection where projection designer Jerry Chambliss also sprinkles well-chosen vignettes.
Jared Walker, director, choreographer, and music director, keeps the action moving and the dancers prancing throughout the evening.
The show is a passel of upbeat fun largely due to its large and multi-talented cast led by Nancy Denton as Violet Newstead; Alana Opie as Doralee Rhodes; and Eve Caballero as Judy Bernly. Each one is energetic and engaging as they sing more than 30 songs. George Naylor plays chief villain, Franklin Hart Jr., as such an overt Snidely Whiplash-type character that he might as well have been sporting an oiled mustache — these office autocrats do still exist. Seva Anthony is wicked as Roz Keith, and Gavin Esham turns in a savvy performance as Joe Savin.
Not to be overlooked are Steve Bikfalvy as Dwayne; Nick Cantanzaro as Josh Newstead; Linda Roeming as Missy; Cassandra Caballero as Maria; Paul Hutchison as Dick; Bonnie Schiavone as Kathy; Dawn Burns as Margaret; Michael Brown as Bob Enright; Craig Engle as Tinsworthy; Kerry Betts as detective; Eric Gregory as doctor; Noella Altamirano as candy striper; and Tammy Halsfed as new employee.
The cast also includes an ensemble of five extras whose job description includes typing and moving stuff. The large stage is taken over between scenes by cleverly rolling furniture and painted backdrops. This makes for colorful and an ever-interesting passing sense of bustle and flow, neatly brought to life by scenic designer John C. Reynolds. Ken Mooney’s costume and set design are pleasingly apt and had many audience members recalling similar outfits they’d worn back in the day.
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