A dark stage is cast with a blue light emanating from a clock-shaped ceiling fixture. The fixture reads “9 to 5: The Musical.” The auditorium is filled with muffled conversation of an eager audience, patiently waiting for the show to begin. Music begins to play as the auditorium lights dim, and Dolly Parton appears on the clock-shaped screen.
On March 24, Belmont’s musical theatre department premiered its production of “9 to 5: The Musical.”
This production, on now through Saturday, tells a story about three women fed-up with the mistreatment in their workplace by their sexist male boss and co-workers.
The warm romantic-comedy is based off the book written by Patricia Resnick that evolved into a popular 1980 box-office film in which Dolly Parton not only starred, but wrote the music and lyrics as well. The tune-filled musical is set in the 1970s, providing a perspective on what it feels like to be a woman in the working world.
Belmont sophomore Cassie Donegan does a notable job as she plays the fabulous, yet misunderstood, Doralee Rhodes.
“Doralee has always been a dream role of mine. I can relate to her a lot being raised in a small town in the South,” said Donegan. “Playing a living legend was terrifying, but at the same time was such an honor. It was a blast.”
Belmont is also putting on this production as part of its Women’s History Month celebration, and what better production than one about three women fighting for equal rights?
The show stars senior musical theatre major Lizzy Hinton, who plays Judy Bernly.
“It’s so appropriate. I think it’s really neat that it’s a very light-hearted show that deals with those underlying issues of women’s equality,” said Hinton. “It’s really neat that we can bring that to light in such a nice way, so the audience is walking out with that on their minds in a positive way.”
Fellow cast member Julian Malone, who plays Joe, had similar comments about the show.
“It has a lot of strong messages for women and how you don’t need a man, and it’s at a time where women weren’t in charge of things, and they had to be something other than the boss,” said Malone.
The musical highlights key challenges women have and still face in today’s workplace in a satirical way. There are moments that are hysterical yet thought-provoking and twists that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat.
“I love this production. Even in the short amount of time I’m onstage I have so much fun with this character,” said sophomore Maggie Hutchison, who plays Margaret.
The tremendous dancing keeps the audience well-engaged with flips and tosses which compliment the impressive vocals. The cast can even be heard off-stage because “there’s so much music we sing off-stage,” said Hutchison.
The actors really make the stage come alive and make the feeling of being in an office we know all too well very present.
On a scale of five to nine, “9 to 5” is a 10 which makes this musical a must-see, especially at the end of Women’s History Month. Do not miss your opportunity to witness some of Belmont’s best and earn convocation credit this coming weekend.
This article was written by Sydney Evans and Courtney Bellush. Photo by Courtney Bellush.