9 to 5: The Musical might follow the plight of female co-workers pushed to the edge by their male boss, but the show will entertain both sexes when it’s staged at Aiken Community Playhouse.
“This is a real woman’s show, but many men will enjoy it also,” said director Bradley Watts. “It is set in a time during the ’70s and early ’80s when women were still treated badly in the work environment. Many women will be able to relate to this. It being a comedy puts a lighter edge to it.”
The musical opens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 23, at the playhouse at 126 Newberry St. SW, with additional evening performances May 24, 30-31, and June 6-7 and 3 p.m. shows on May 25 and June 1.
Based on the book by Patricia Resnick and the 1979 movie starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, 9 to 5 is certainly a funny tale, but also a story of friendship, strength and the women’s discovery that there is nothing they can’t do – even in a man’s world.
“This play has been a fun play to direct and is a fun play to see,” said Watts, who has worked with Aiken Community Playhouse for more than 30 years and Edgefield Theatre Company for three years.
He directed the musical Hairspray earlier this year at the Aiken theater.
“Great music by a great songwriter, Dolly Parton. The cast worked hard to put this show together. We hope everyone will come out and support them,” Watts said.
Assistant director Dustin Turner said the play has been a learning experience for him as this is his first time directing a musical.
“I’m learning how musicals work, and this is especially important to me because directing musicals is what I want to do,” he said. “It has also been a fun time for me. I’m a big Dolly Parton and country music fan. I grew up listening to country music with my dad.”
The show stars Cara Doolittle as Dora Lee; Jamie Turner as Judy; Joyce Culp as Violet; and Jerry West as Mr. Hart (the boss). This is Culp’s first big part.
“Most of what I’ve done before has been for the Aiken Kidney Benefit,” she said. “My husband is a theater person and he kept pushing me to try it.”
She said she’s felt herself getting overwhelmed at times.
“I’ve been working very hard. I have Lily Tomlin’s character in the movie. But it is just the sweetest cast ever. There are no divas. Everyone tries so hard to help each other.”
Culp said she definitely thinks everyone – men and women – will enjoy seeing the friendship and the power of the characters in the play.
The play ran on Broadway several years ago and was a big success.
It contains adult language and themes, so parental guidance is advised.
Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for ages 60 and older; $15 for students; and $10 for ages 12 and younger.
Call (803) 648-1438 or visit aikencommunityplayhouse.com.