Doralee (Mary-Margaret Dale) confronts boss Franklin Hart (John Rudolph) after discovering he’s spread rumors they’re having an affair. HOLLY HOUSER/Keys Weekly

Grab your blazer and briefcase – you’re headed to 9 to 5! The Key Players Community Theater’s rendition of “9 to 5 The Musical” is coming to the Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center on Thursday, Feb. 20. 

Based on the 1980 movie of the same name, this fun, comical and surprisingly relatable musical takes place in the 1970s and features music written by Dolly Parton.

Throughout the approximate two-hour show, the audience will follow the lives of three women – Judy, Violet and Doralee – who work in an office run by the lewd, lascivious and pompous CEO of Consolidated, Franklin Hart (John Rudolph). “What do you call a woman who’s lost 95% of her intelligence? Divorced!” is one of many crude comments that spill from his mouth throughout the performance.

The first of the three women, Judy Bernly, played by Christina Neel in her first production with Key Players, has never had a job in her life. When her husband leaves her, she is forced to join Consolidated despite having no office experience. Judy brings laughs as she stumbles through various office tasks and drama, doing her best to learn the ropes and not send the Xerox papers flying (again).

Violet Newstead, played by Cristina Salvesen in her third performance with Key Players, is the bossy and opinionated senior office manager of Consolidated who is continuously passed up for promotions despite her obvious qualifications.

Lastly, there’s Doralee Rhodes – Hart’s sexual interest – played by Mary-Margaret Dale in her first production with the Key Players. Though they’re both married (Doralee, happily), Hart sexually harasses her, spreading false rumors they’re having an affair. This effectively ostracizes her from other women in the office who already judge her for her looks.

This workplace negativity brings the three women together in disdain over Hart. After bonding over a shared joint during a hysterical scene where the three women fantasize about killing him, Violet comes to believe she’s inadvertently poisoned Hart with rat poison. 

After more backstabbing and deceit, the women capture Hart, tie him up, and secretly run the office, creating a well-oiled machine in Hart’s absence, until he finally makes his escape. What happens next will only be revealed by attending the show.

Salvesen describes “9 to 5” as having a little bit of everything – at points you will laugh, you may even cry, and you’ll likely want to sing along and dance. In addition to its comedic value, the musical’s relatability is a draw. 

“Though it’s a show from the ’70s, everyone knows the song ‘9 to 5,’ everyone knows Dolly Parton, and everyone can relate to the theme in some way or another,” says director/producer Jonelle Kop.

Salvesen agrees. “It’s interesting to see the play now with the topic of women in the workplace. You still come across some of those same issues portrayed when the movie came out 40 years ago.”

With a 20-person cast, “9 to 5 The Musical” is the largest show the Key Players have done since “Shrek The Musical” in 2016. Kop credits her exceedingly talented musical cast for the show’s success. In all, the theater group has performed more than 125 shows in its 42-year history.

The cast hopes the audience will leave with a message. Dale says, “While this show is going to be a great night out, I hope audience members leave with a message of empowerment and a sense that you can make things better and don’t have to take crap from anybody!”

The Key Players’ 9 to 5 The Musical is scheduled to open Thursday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. at the Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center. Additional shows are scheduled for Feb. 21, 22 and 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. A 2 p.m. matinee is set for Sunday, Feb. 23. Tickets are $23 at the door and facebook.com/TheKeyPlayers, and $20 when bought from Key Largo Chocolates & Ice Cream, Shear Paradise or the PostNet Store.

Judy (Christina Neel), Violet (Cristina Salvesen) and Doralee (Mary-Margaret Dale) bond over their shared hatred of Hart (John Rudolph) with the use of a little vice. HOLLY
Roz Keith (center), played by music director Rhonda Crutcher, sings show-stopping song “Heart to Hart” about her infatuation with her boss. HOLLY HOUSER/Keys Weekly
Mary-Margaret Dale, Christina Neel, John Rudolph and Cristina Salvesen star in 9 to 5 The Musical at Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center. HOLLY HOUSER/Keys Weekly

Mary-Margaret Dale, Christina Neel, John Rudolph and Cristina Salvesen star in 9 to 5 The Musical at Murray Nelson Government & Cultural Center.

 

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