Let's be totally honest, I expected so much more from this musical, which, in my opinion fails to deliver.
The pedigree of this new musical comedy based on the classic hit movie! 9 to 5: THE MUSICAL features a brand-new score by seven-time Grammy Award winner DOLLY PARTON that includes the blockbuster title song, plus a book by original screenwriter PATRICIA RESNICK, direction by two time Tony Award winner JOE MANTELLO (directing his first new musical since Wicked), and choreography by Tony winner ANDY BLANKENBUEHLER (In The Heights). Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee ALLISON JANNEY stars as Violet Newstead, the super-efficient office manager who joins her fellow co-workers - frazzled divorcée Judy Bernly (STEPHANIE J. BLOCK) and sexy secretary Doralee Rhodes (MEGAN HILTY) - to turn the tables on their "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss, Franklin Hart, Jr.
In a hilarious turn of events, Violet, Judy and Doralee live out their wildest fantasy - giving their boss the boot! While Hart remains "otherwise engaged," the women give their workplace a dream makeover, taking control of the company that had always kept them down. Hey, a girl can scheme, can't she?
So when it was announced that the film was being adapted into a stage musical with Dolly Parton at the helm as composer and lyricist this had "hit" written all over it.
It opened on Broadway earlier this year (6th April 2009) and soon after received mixed reviews, it was clear something was wrong. On hearing this musical CD, it is clear that the songs and musical structure of this show are a problem. In truth, the songs are just bland and the stand out song, the female anthem, "Get Out And Stay Out" is only a stand out track against a mediocre score. This is hugely disappointing from the creative talents of Ms. Parton. Given that the show has already announced its closure on the 6th September 2009 after just 5 months it is easy to hear why in this recording.
The premise of this show that 3 women take charge of their business after ousting their "sexist" boss was comically novel and new in the 80's but now?
To fully appreciate this score you have to have seen the show. The vocal talents of the artistes especially Megan Hilty playing the Dolly role are excellent but there is a considerable lack of comedy or fun in this score and that was the stand out feature of the film. The film didn't take itself too seriously but here I feel Ms. Parton is trying a little too hard to prove that she has what it takes to conquer Broadway and on the evidence of this recording, Broadway was a step too far.