Salem College Pierrettes presented “9 to 5” in the Drama Workshop on March 8-11. The musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, is based off of the hit 1980 movie of the same title.
“9 to 5” was directed by Amy da Luz with musical direction by David Lane and stage management by Joanna Hernandez.
The show follows three women who are unwilling to take any more injustice from their “sexist, lying, hypocritical egomaniac boss.” Violet Newstead (Fela Langston), Judy Bernly (Megan Billups) and Doralee Rhodes (Hannah Ross) soon find themselves in a sticky situation where they learn female empowerment, independence and friendship.
The production showcased live musical accompaniment including keyboard, reeds, trumpet, guitars, bass and drums. While the music provided the audience with a powerful sense of energy, it did sometimes drown out the vocalists–specifically the ensemble.
Langston, Billups and Ross held the limelight with their powerful vocals throughout the show. Makayla Schofield as Frank Hart, and Cailey Neuschaefer as Roz Keith provided moments of humor with their portrayals of the sexist boss and quirky administrative assistant.
With such a spunky show it is hard to not be transported back into the office life of the 80’s. With costumes, office decor and the set’s colors, the cast oozes with energy and dedication to the show. While there was little choreography present in the show, the cast often dropped their focus, faces and vocals when they did dance. There were often awkward pauses during songs where there were written dance breaks.
The music was performed well and the scenes were filled with jokes and moments where the audience, specifically Salem students, were able to cheer for the characters and their fellow peers on stage.
The show premiered just in time for Women’s History Month with evident feminist themes. The audience sees the three leading ladies transform: Violent becomes the first Female CEO of their company, Doralee projects acceptance of body positivity (whether cosmetic or not), and Judy discovers that she does not need a man to be successful or happy.