Rome Little Theatre presents ‘9 to 5 the Musical’ starting May 12
Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, then make your way to the Historic DeSoto Theatre for Rome Little Theatre’s production of “9 to 5 the Musical,” which opens May 12 and runs two weekends through May 21.
Prepare to travel back in time to the big hair and big egos of the original 1980 film “9 to 5” starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton herself wrote the music for the Broadway version that brings even more life and laughter to the much-beloved workplace comedy film.
The show follows three working women under the oppressive rule of their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss, Franklin Hart. When Violet, Judy and Doralee are each wronged by Mr. Hart, the women form an unlikely alliance, kidnap Mr. Hart, take over management of the office, and ultimately discover the power they each have to create change, even in a man’s world.
The musical is directed by Karen Bowling and produced by Carol Murchland, an RLT duo who previously brought the musicals “Hairspray,” “Legally Blonde” and “Addams Family” to the stage. Bowling said all audiences who are familiar with the original film will appreciate the music and Broadway fanfare, as well as the message of female friendship and empowerment that is still relevant today.
“‘9 to 5 The Musical’ is a fast-paced, high-energy show with many opportunities for laughter, highlighted by some genuinely touching moments,” Bowling said. “It has all the comedy of the original 1980 movie, and its message of equal work for equal pay and respect in the workspace are issues our society is still working on 37 years later.”
Maegan Williams, who portrays the naive divorcee Judy Bernly, said her favorite part has been creating a powerful arc for her character. “She may start off lost and slightly confused, but boy does she have a fire that I love creating,” said Williams.
Fans of Dolly Parton can expect a surprise virtual appearance during the show. “It’s a dream come true to play such an iconic role. Dolly is my hero,” said Lillian Shaw, who plays Doralee Rhodes in the musical. “[The character of] Doralee was written for Dolly, so they’re a lot alike. Doralee knows who she is, is proud of who she is, and it’s the world that has to make room for Doralee, not the other way around.”
The cast and production team started rehearsal in February in order to be ready for opening night, but Bowling says all the hard work pays off in multitudes when you see the musical come alive on stage. “I am blessed by the creative team of production people who put down their day jobs to join me in putting shows together time after time. We create, we play, we laugh, and as show time nears, we get a little stressed, and might cry a little, but are very proud to see our efforts come to life for our audiences,” Bowling said.
The Rome Little Theatre production also features Clarissa Brinkley as Violet Newstead and Todd Williams as Franklin Hart, Jr.
“9 to 5 the Musical” runs May 12 through May 21 and show times are 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for students and seniors. (prices include taxes and processing fees) Tickets can be purchased and reserved at romelittletheatre.com or by calling the box office at 706-295-7171.