Gold Carat Fun
Review by Kelly-Louise Austin
9 to 5 The Musical has arrived in Melbourne in a burst of colour, incredible sound, and to rapturous applause. It is a must see and will be the most fun night out you will have this year!
9 to 5: The Musical is based on the 1980 film, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick. The musical premiered in Los Angeles in September 2008, and opened on Broadway in April 2009. It received 15 Drama Desk Award nominations, the most received by a production in a single year, as well as four Tony Awards nominations. It centres on the working lives of three women, Violet (Marina Prior), Judy (Casey Donovan), and Doralee (Erin Clare) work at Consolidated Industries, run by the arrogant, sexist and obnoxious Franklin Hart Jnr. Violet has been working her way towards middle management of years, but has always been overlooked for her male counterparts. Judy is newly separated after her slimeball husband ran off with his secretary, and she joins the company having never worked before. Doralee is a stunning, happily married country girl, but she is shunned by her female workers and constantly harassed by her boss.
After Judy has a terrible first day, Hart passes Violet over for yet another promotion, and Doralee finds out that Hart has been telling everyone they are having an affair, the three women unite over a joint in their hatred of Hart and jokingly plot his demise. After Violet accidentally poisons Hart the next day, hilarity ensues as they kidnap him, hold him hostage and start running the company the way they think it should be run, implementing changes to ensure a fair, fun (and brightly decorated) workplace for all with longer lunch breaks, rehab, childcare and more. The ensemble opens with the title song, and slick, tight choreography. They are accompanied by Dolly herself on the big screen! The ensemble continues to be vibrant, vocally stunning, in sync and highly entertaining through the entire show.
Featuring some incredible cameo performances, a crowd favourite was obviously Sarah Krndija as Margaret, the office lush.Marina Prior brings us Violet. Prior absolutely slays this role, proving once again just how incredible an actress she is. She is fierce, powerful, and absolutely inspiring.Her comic timing is on point, her vocals as always impressive, and she owns the stage every time she sets foot on it. “One of the Boys” in act two absolutely highlights Prior as a triple threat, and I suspect will see a surge in the sales of white power suits across Melbourne.
The sweet and endearing Judy is portrayed with sincerity and humour by Casey Donovan. Proving that her voice just keeps getting better, and acting chops are more than enough to hold her own in this strong line up, the standing ovation she received at the end of “Get Out and Stay Out” in act two was well deserved!
Eddie Perfect should be so unlikeable in the role of Franklin Hart Jnr, yet despite his crassness, gaslighting and womanizing, he still had the audience roaring with laughter. Perfect’s voice is in fine form, proving once again that he was born for the stage. I don’t want to give too much detail about his performance, so I will leave you hanging…… (if you know you know)
Dolly Parton leaves big high heels to fill, however Erin Clare does so with absolute style, grace, and just the right amount of sass! Clare has an incredible voice that soars through the theatre, and she is an absolute joy to watch. Clare’s performance as Doralee really comes to life during “Backwards Barbie” early on in act 1, where she tells us how she is so much more than her outward appearance, and it is both heartbreaking and soul warming.
Special mention must go to featured performer Caroline O’Connor. O’Connor plays Roz Keith, secretary to Hart who is completely and utterly in love with him. Keith spies on her fellow co-workers, and will do anything to prove her loyalty. In what could be a throwaway role, O’Connor absolutely stops the show in her number “Heart to Hart”.
With a simple yet effective set, stunning costumes that will give us all flashback of our own fashion choices in the 80’s and an orchestra that simply rock from the first note, there is not a single element of this production that is lacking.
I guarantee you will leave the theatre with a huge grin, a tune in your head and feeling empowered. Tumble out of bed and stumble straight to the box office, you don’t want to be the only one around the water cooler on Monday morning not talking about this incredible show.
9 to 5 The Musical is at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne until 18 September 2022.
Performance Times Wed -Thurs 7pm, Fri-Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm
Prices: From $69.00 (Transaction fees apply)
Bookings: 9to5themusical.com.au or phone 1300 182 183