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'9 to 5' The Musical


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  • '9 to 5' The Musical

    A Cup of Ambition: 9 to 5, the Musical, Will Get Staged Reading in June

    By kenneth Jones
    24 Apr 2007

    9 to 5, the stage musical based on the 1980 film comedy, will take another step toward a wide future with a June staged reading in Manhattan, according to a casting notice.

    Producer Robert Greenblatt's exploration of the material is under an Equity Special Agreement Staged Reading contract, and runs June 20-28.

    As previously reported, the project has music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, book by original screenwriter/conceiver Patricia Resnick and direction by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked, Blackbird, Take Me Out, Assassins).

    Music director is Kevin Stites, general manager is Nina Lannan Associates and casting is by Telsey + Company.

    As in the film, the story tells the tale of office co-workers Violet, Judy and Doralee, who are at odds with their sexist boss, smarmy Mr. Hart, and the office snitch, Roz.

    Co-workers and kids of the office folk are also part of the mix in the musical.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

    Janney, Block, Hilty, Neuwirth Will Punch 9 to 5 Musical Workshop Clock

    By Kenneth Jones
    08 Jun 2007

    Stephanie J. Block

    Hello, Dolly — Parton! 9 to 5, the developing new musical by songwriter Dolly Parton and librettist Patricia Resnick, will get two private industry presentations in Manhattan June 28, has learned.

    Following earlier readings of the new stage musical comedy based on the 20th Century Fox film, director Joe Mantello (Wicked) will oversee a workshop cast that includes Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty (as the three office mates), Bebe Neuwirth, Marc Kudisch and Andy Karl, among others, including an ensemble.
    Earlier this year, on Jan. 19, a reading of the material included Tracey Ullman, Alice Ripley and Megan Hilty, with Norm Lewis, Marc Kudisch, Amy Hohn and an ensemble.
    Musical supervision is by Kevin Stites (), with arrangements of Parton's new songs by Stites and Charles duChateau.

    The new musical based on the 1980 hit film comedy is being produced by Robert Greenblatt, president of entertainment at Showtime Networks, Inc.
    Industry speculation has the show poised as a potential smash if country-fried, gospel-flecked Parton can make her work theatrical and characterful rather than just melodic and hooky.

    As women are generally thought to lead decision-making when it comes to theatregoing, the show has great intergenerational possibilities for the demographic: Women who lived through workplace sexism in the '70s and '80s might feel nostalgic for the story, and young women who came of age around the time of the film's release might have daughters of their own now that they wish to take to the woman-positive musical.
    Dolly Parton's title song for the movie was Oscar-nominated for Best Song. She starred in the film, about three secretaries (including Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) who seek revenge on their egomaniacal, sexist boss (played by Dabney Coleman, in one of a long line of salty jerks he has played in his career).

    The musical will be comprised of new songs by Parton, who is known for her hits "I Will Always Love You," "Coat of Many Colors" and "Jolene." The title song, which has the lyric about being "just a step on the boss man's ladder," will be part of the stage score. It will be Parton's first time scoring a legit musical.

    A 2007-08 launch is expected for the stage musical, although Greenblatt has made no official announcement about the production's timetable or cast.

    The casting for this latest workshop does not necessarily reflect future Broadway casting.

    Librettist Patricia Resnick had story and co-screenwriter credit on the hit picture. Resnick previously told 9 to 5 would be a large-cast show of perhaps 25 actors.

    Given the film's broad commercial strokes and the clear "wants" of its three main characters (three secretaries), it's almost a surprise a plan for 9 to 5, the Musical didn't emerge sooner.

    "It's something that's been kicking around for years and years," Resnick told in 2005. "Over the years various people have approached me about trying to do a musical version. Almost two years ago Bob Greenblatt approached me about it. It finally seemed to be 'right person, right time' — we were able to get Dolly involved and Bob and I started moving forward with it."

    In the movie, the trio of office secretaries want to get ahead, punish a bullying, sexist boss and overcome the treachery of the boss' office mole, Roz. Fantasy sequences punctuate the comedy, which earned Resnick and co-screenwriter Colin Higgins (who directed) a 1981 nomination for a Writers Guild of America Award in the category of Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.

    Resnick said the transition to the stage has been smooth; she hasn't had to dismantle what worked about the story.

    "We've tried to keep the things that are near and dear to people," Resnick said, "but we've tried to definitely see it as its own creature. We're setting it in 1980. We do derive some humor from the things that, in 1980, people are looking forward to, which are sort of mixed blessings — like all of the technology that we have now. This is before cell phones, no faxes, computers were not used the way they are now."

    The characters will include three secretaries, Judy, Violet and Doralee, Mr. Hart (the boss), Roz (the office spy) and "a couple of other male parts that were in the movie," which have been beefed up for the stage. An ensemble will be part of the musical. In addition, "we did add some romance" to the plot, Resnick said.

    Resnick's screen credits include the Mandy Patinkin-Glenn Close picture, "Maxie"; the TV movies "Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay," "Jenifer," "Grandpa's Funeral," "The Price of a Broken Heart," "Sex, Lies & Obsession," "The Expendables"; the features "Straight Talk" (co-written with Craig Bolotin) starring Dolly Parton, "Second Sight" (co-written with Tom Schulman) and Robert Altman's "A Wedding" (for which Resnick shared screenplay credit).

    Resnick also wrote a teleplay for PBS in 1979 called "Ladies in Waiting," which she later adapted for the musical stage (with Alan Poul and Jonathan Sheffer). It was presented in Woodstock, IL, in summer stock, she said, and then moved to the Lyric Opera House in Chicago. The show remains a licensable property that "never quite made it to Broadway, but it's around."
    How did the original "Nine to Five" (sometimes written as "9 to 5") film come about?

    "Jane Fonda wanted to make a political statement about clerical workers and secretaries, and she wanted to work with Lily and Dolly — I actually read about it in the trades," Resnick explained. "At the time, we were both with William Morris, and there was no writer attached. Lily gave me my first job. I wrote for her first Broadway show, Appearing Nitely. I had done a couple of sketches for Dolly for a Cher special, so I had somewhat of a relationship with both of them. I asked that Jane read some of my work and consider me, which she did. She explained to me what she wanted to say — she wanted to work with Lily and Dolly, and she did want it couched in terms of a comedy. She thought political statements are more palatable using comedy. I came up with the story. We then took it to 20th Century Fox."

    Underneath the comedy, the movie was about the smart, industrious but invisible women behind the power structure of corporate America. "That's changed a little, but not as much as you would have thought in the 25 years since the movie came out," Resnick said.

    The film inspired a TV series of the same name.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


    • #3
      Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

      Dolly Parton Says 9 to 5 Will Play Broadway in 2009

      By Kenneth Jones
      29 Aug 2007

      Dolly Parton told Los Angeles radio listeners Aug. 28 that 9 to 5, the new musical for which she has penned songs, will open on Broadway in spring 2009.

      The musical being shepherded by producer Robert Greenblatt is based on the 1980 film comedy about secretaries. Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda starred in the hit picture that also spawned a TV series.

      Parton, in an in-studio interview on Go Country 105.1, said the musical comedy will have a "workshop" at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles in fall 2008.

      "People ask if I'm gonna be in the play. I say, 'No, I think I'm a bit over the age of wantin' to be a secretary,'" Parton said in her radio chat. "But they asked me to write all the music for it, so I have written all the music. And it's supposed to open on Broadway in the spring of 2009. I believe they're gonna be doin' a workshop out here at the Shubert in the fall of next year."
      It's not clear if by "workshop" she meant a pre-Broadway tryout. No firm production dates have been announced for the musical, which was tested in a developmental reading in Manhattan in June.

      The casting in developmental workshops does not necessarily reflect future Broadway casting, although Parton did indicate Aug. 28 that the role of Doralee was cast.

      She offered a song title from the 9 to
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


      • #4
        Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

        Why do they have to make musicals out of EVERYTHING these days?!


        • #5
          Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

          To make money of course


          • #6
            Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

            I heard about this musical when Dolly Parton mentioned it in an interview sometime late last year. I think that this movie is actually ripe for a musical remake.
            WDW - 1987 & 1991
            DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
            DLR - October 2011


            • #7
              Re: '9 to 5' The Musical

              9 to 5 has been pushed back. One of the reasons Megan Hilty extended her contract with Wicked. But I am excited to see this show whenever it comes out!
              Dream a fantastic dream...


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