The Marquis in New York City, taken by yours truly
Last week I had the opportunity to go to New York City to tour and visit, for the first time in my life. We did all the usual tourist things, but my favorite part? Going to see the brand new musical, 9 to 5. It was in the Marquis Theatre, right on Times Square, right in the middle of the bustling center of the city. Based on the 1980 film Nine to Five, starring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin, with music written by Dolly herself, it was quite a treat. The musical even features the song “Backwoods Barbie”, from Dolly’s latest album.
Now I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, but I had not, so I had no idea what it was about, making it a fresh experience for me. For those of you who don’t know much about the plot, 3 women in an office, circa 1979, deal with their lying, hypocritical and egotistical boss. The plot has a lot to do with independent women in a place and time that was harsh to women.
Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty.
The 3 starring roles were played by Allison Janney (From the West Wing), Stephanie J. Block (Was Elphaba in Wicked, previously) and Megan Hilty (Was Glinda in Wicked previously) and they were all fantastic. They could all sing, of course, but Megan Hilty had an especially big *ahem* dress to fill, seeing as she plays Dolly’s role. They excelled, with Hilty doing an entertaining Dolly impression, and they were all very entertaining to watch!
As always with Broadway plays, the music was fantastic, but the added talent of Dolly made it even more special. The opener was “9 to 5”, but other songs were great too, like the stunning “Get Out and Stay Out”, a wonderful song telling a cheating man to get out forever. There was even a fun dream sequence involving tangos, cowboys and Snow White that really made me laugh!
The sets were just as cool, with parts whizzing around and sets breaking apart like the cogs of a huge machine. It was fun just to watch the stage change. Another highlight was a copy machine that has a penchant for eating jerks. It was just really cool all around.
Dolly promoting 9 to 5.
Want to know the coolest part? My mom and I sat in the orchestra section (fantastic, yet cheap seats) and the whole first act, I saw this lady sitting one row forward and four seats to the left of us, about 5 feet away. The whole time I thought, “Wow, she looks just like LeAnn Rimes!” When I shared this with my mom, she told me she had been thinking the same thing! As the lady and her husband left at the beginning of act 2, we realized it was LeAnn and her husband! At home, doing research, we found out she had been on the Today show the day before and sang “What I Cannot Change” with her co-writer Darrell Brown accompanying her on the piano (He was sitting with her at the show, too). It was my second “star encounter”, the first being in front of Rafael Nadal in the airport security line, and it was pretty cool to see someone that I’m really a fan of. Needless to say, on our metro ride back to Brooklyn, I listened to a whole bunch of LeAnn Rimes on my ipod!
Anyway, if you get the chance, go see this terrific show. Who knows — you might see a country star there! Now I just need to get Backwoods Barbie and the song “9 to 5” on my ipod…