Review: 9 to 5 at the Savoy Theatre
A decade ago, when 9 to 5 made its debut on Broadway, it only ran for five months. But with the #MeToo movement still very much on our minds, the story about workplace harassment and a sexist boss feels more timely than ever.
At the end of the show, when Violet (played by Lucinda Lawrence at the performance I attended), Judy (Amber Davies), and Doralee (Natalie McQueen) turn Consolidated into a more productive workplace that is supportive of its employees needs, it is a triumph for the time and a reminder of how far we have come today, and it firmly cements the idea that women can be in charge. However, as the show begins, their workplace is not one that is supportive of women who work, with jokes made at their expense, the threat of losing their jobs frequently thrown around, and the fact that they can't do simple tasks without their boss focusing on their sexuality, rather than their skills.
When Violet accidentally puts rat poison into the coffee for their boss, Franklin Hart Jr. (Brian Conley), the three ladies must find a way to keep him from ruining their careers. It works surprisingly well as they return him to his house a string him up from his ceiling with a wide variety of pleather accessories. All the while, they work to avoid his office spy Roz Keith (Bonnie Langford) who begins to grow more and more wary about where the boss she idolizes has gone.
If you hadn't guessed it, 9 to 5 is based on the movie of the same name that starred Dolly Parton. And she, unsurprisingly, is heavily involved in the musical version, not just with her catchy and clever musical compositions, but even with her face on various screens on stage to help fill the audience in on how to story starts.
They say that timing is everything, and for 9 to 5, that certainly seems to be the case. With the world as it is now, it is the stories of women who can stand for themselves and what they believe in that should be heard. Without a doubt, 9 to 5 deserves to show what the power of brave women can do. It's full of heart, humor, sharp wit, and relevance that cannot be ignored.