9 to 5 The Musical, which is as campy and as dazzling as the showcase 9 to 5 set piece – featuring a pretty tricky alarm clock – is a fun night out at the theatre. The musical relies heavily on crude and outdated humour but it works, maybe because the ’80s seems like such a quaint time, compared to the hells-cape we’re trapped in currently. 

But it does it in a way that proves that if dated dick jokes that we’ve all heard and seen before are delivered with a twinkle in the eye, the right amount of wood and a big dash of chutzpah, you can still get a laugh from an audience in 2022.

Advertisement
And the cast would be glad to finally be bringing the laughs to you, considering 9 to 5 The Musical’s original Australian season  was cancelled back in March 2020!

Outstanding Leads

Erin Clare, Marina Prior and Casey Donovan in 9 to 5 The Musical. Photo: David Hooley

9 to 5 is led by five outstanding leads, who all bring their own strengths to their respective roles.

The scope of these five absolute stars, all with impeccible comic timing, from leading ladies building their fan bases and professional journeys to seasoned performers that international audiences have been flocking to theatres to see for decades, is astounding.

The small, but fiercely polished ensemble admirably tries to fill the deep looking stage, though their tight choreography does seem to sometimes get lost in the huge space. And the charming narration by a special guest star offers important insights into the characters’ mind frames at the various points of the show.

The costumes are detailed and rich looking and flatter everyone’s every things. A few unexpected costume twists were well executed and played to get maximum reaction from the audience, which lapped up everything that was served to them appreciatively. 

Advertisement
It’s also fascinating to see what can be achieved with scenic projections – it’s one impressive thing to see magical snow queens strutting their stuff with digital imagery but even more fascinating to see how that technology can be imaginatively incorporated into non-fantasy settings as well.   

No juke box here!

Marina Prior and ensemble in 9 TO 5 The Musical. Photo: David Hooley

For fans of Dolly Parton  who perhaps might be heading to 9 to 5 to hear a Dolly Parton concert in musical format, be warned – this ain’t no jukebox musical! Much to the vocal disappointment of the folks sitting behind.  

Besides the titular tune that we’re all familiar with, which was written specifically by Parton for the 1980 film and one other tune familiar to die-hard fans, the songs are all originals, written especially for the musical. 

And you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dolly Parton must be the most modest musical theatre composer ever. Here is the perfect opportunity to give the character that is so closely aligned with her star turn in this movie a detailed backstory and the best song of them all and yet it feels like Doralee is the most underdeveloped character.

Eddie Perfect and Erin Clare in 9 TO 5 The Musical. Photo: David Hooley

Not that that stops the always incredible Erin Clare, who brings the bacon with what she’s got to work with, including her impressive accent. Her solo about feeling misunderstood because of her outwardly glam appearance is poignantly sung but fans are disappointed that Doralee doesn’t get a good belt-out number like you are just sure that this character wants to do!

Advertisement
Especially since she yearns to be a singer, rather than an office drone.

A Phenomenal Voice

 

Casey Donovan, Marina Prior and Erin Clare in 9 to 5 The Musical. Photo: David Hooley

Caroline O’Connor, playing Roz Keith, is a show stopper with her antics and is matched in all his outrageous glory by Eddie Perfect, seemingly loving playing the revolting Franklin Hart Jnr – these two have great chemistry together which surely will land both with Helpmann Awards in the coming awards season.

Marina Prior stars as the office Mum, though she’s not a hugger! Violet Newstead is the overlooked and overworked office supervisor and Prior takes the character on a journey of self-discovery, winding up where she deserved to be at the end of the story, having sung and danced and smoked her way to the top of the heap!

But the highlight of the show and the one that the audience was buzzing about on the way out of the theatre was Casey Donovan as Judy Bernley. A phenomenal voice! It’s a wonderful casting that really suits her and when you put those things together, you come up with magic chills down your spine and goosebumps on your arms. Donovan has been featured in a few musicals now, though this role will surely smash any pre-perceptions you might have had about what kind of roles this talented performer can play!

9 to 5 The Musical is playing at the Capitol Theatre until May 1st, Tickets from $69 here.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.