It's always a treat when Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley produces a regional premiere of a show direct from Broadway, and especially one that didn't make it to Utah on tour. The production values are always stellar, and 9 to 5 the Musical is no exception.
The show (music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick) is based on the 1980 film of the same name. It follows the unlikely friendship of three very different businesswomen who bond as they work together toward the same goal: equality and fairness in their male-dominated workplace.
Whether you are a fan of country music or showtunes, and whether you are a feminist or a "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot," you will be hard-pressed to resist being swept up by the musical's toe-tapping fun.
Much credit is due to choreographer Jennifer Hill Barlow and the well-trained ensemble, who execute crisp, exciting dance numbers. Compliments should also go to costume designer Suzanne Carling, who has created clothing that is exceptionally accurate to the period, effectively inviting the audience into the business world of the 1970s. The automated set, designed by Kacey Udy, is another marvel.
The production is very well cast. The biggest standout is the astoundingly talented Angela Jeffries as Judy (double cast with Adrien Swenson). She is equally accomplished in both singing and acting, and her 11 o'clock number, "Get Out and Stay Out," is an electrifying showcase of her performance's nuance and verve.
Madeline Weinberger as Doralee (double cast with Angie Winegar) and Sharon Kenison as Violet (double cast with Bonnie Wilson Whitlock), both of which are also great performers, pull their own share of the load as the remaining two members of the show's leading lady trio. The exceptional chemistry among the three actresses carries the show.
Other mentions are well-deserved by the clear-voiced Kelly Dehaan as Joe (double cast with Rhett Richins), the sassy Brooklynn Pulver as Roz (double cast with Casey Matern), and the funny David Gliattli as Hart (double cast with Ryan Poole).
Hale Centre Theatre's production of 9 to 5 the Musical plays through September 29, 2012. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit www.halecentretheatre.org.
Photo Credit: L-R Angela Jeffries as Judy, Sharon Kenison as Violet, and Madeline Weinberger as Doralee.