The familiar 'typewriter' rhythm of the hit song '9 to 5' kicked off a journey back to a corporate office in New York City in 1979, where a chauvinistic boss was about to be taught a lesson by three secretaries with big dreams and imaginations for a better workplace.

The comical, female empowering story of 'workin' 9 to 5' came to life on the big screen in 1980. Then, in 2009, one of the movie's original stars, Dolly Parton composed the music and lyrics to the Broadway version that earned four Tony nominations and scored 15 drama desk nominations, winning only one for Allison Janney in the role of Lily Tomlin.

After it's departure from Broadway, the feel-good show hit the road with a popular national tour that brought the musical around the country- and now it's seeing success in the U.K. with a string of dates for 2012/2013.

One of our area performance treasures, Home Made Theater at Spa Little Theater, is currently featuring a regional production with some northeast talent that could easily land a role on the national tour. As someone who's seen the show twice on Broadway, I realize and understand all the hard work and effort that went into this production to make it come to life.

If Dolly Parton herself had witnessed Molly McGrath as Doralee Rhodes, she would have been very pleased and proud of this lady's amazing voice and natural ability to deliver a country song. McGrath, much like Parton, has that something special that just makes her a star. In addition, McGrath's charm and delivery kept the audience smiling and clealry showed that she has perfected her craft of entertaining.

Karen Kolterman as Judy Bernly and Amy-Lin Slezak Nelson as Violet were both perfectly cast to deliver both characters extremely close to what we all remember from the movie.  Dawn Oesch provided great laughter as Roz Keith, the only woman in the office in love with Mr. Hart, played by John Sutliff. Oesch and Sutliff had great chemistry to play back and forth and keep the show moving along with humor that delighted the crowd.

The most memorable music performances include McGrath's spot-on 'Backwoods Barbie,' penned by Parton about her own life. Nelson's offering of 'Potion Notion' during the dream sequence was a whimsical joy, and Kolterman's 'Get Out and Stay Out' was quite impressive and delivered with great passion.

Kudos to Stacie Mayette Barnes, General Manager, and the entire staff for another great performance. One can only imagine the time and energy required to produce such a show, and we are lucky to have such a great venue and organization right here in the Albany area.

At intermission, the audience seemed to be raving about how much fun they were having, comparing scenes to the movie, and how many talented people were on stage. However, if I could find one complaint, and it's actually one I heard from a few people, was that it was difficult to hear the lyrics over the wonderful three piece band. This could easily be fixed with microphones on or in front of the main performers.Perhaps we can get a sponsor or underwriter to help enhance future shows so that everyone can hear every bit of talent in each performer.

As someone who's seen the movie and musical several times, I also give props to Cindy Boyka. As Margaret, the office lush, she gave us the much anticipated quote 'Atta Girl' with a few great moves and giggles along the way.

'9 to 5 : The Musical' is showing through October 28, 2012 at Home Made Theater at Spa Little Theater in Saratoga, New York.


Home Made Theater