Dolly Parton penned the music and lyrics for this stage adaptation of the hit film comedy, which hilariously involves the wacky adventures of three working women who eventually achieve revenge on their chauvinistic boss. The title tune from the film (also written by Dolly) gets the show off to a lively start, and the new songs are a catchy and tuneful collection of musical fun.
Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Based on the 20th Century Fox Picture
Originally produced on Broadway by Robert Greenblatt, April 2009
Rated PG-13, for ribald language and adult situations
Parental Guidance Suggested
(Running time approx. 2 hr. 30 min.)
PAULA LEGGETT CHASE (Violet Newstead)
Paula Leggett Chase is delighted to return to MTWichita where she played Carmen Bernstein in Curtains in 2010, and thrilled to once again be working with pals Mark Madama and Darcie Roberts! PLC is a long-time Broadway veteran, appearing in several original Broadway casts: Bye Bye Birdie (2010), Curtains, The Pajama Game (revival w/ Harry Connick Jr.), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Kiss Me, Kate (1999), Damn Yankees (1994), Crazy for You, A Chorus Line (final cast of the original Broadway run). Other NYC stages: Applause at New York City Encores and Princess Diana in The Queen of Hearts. On the road, PLC was featured in Cabaret with Joel Grey, and as Judy Turner in A Chorus Line. On the little screen, “30 Rock” fans will recognize PLC as Randi from the popular “Queen of Jordan” episodes on NBC. Other TV roles include Judge Dorothy Parnell on the long-running “Law & Order,” appearances on “Unforgettable,” “Bored to Death,” and two seasons as rhyming witch Mediva on the PBS kiddie program “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?” In her younger years, PLC was a showgirl regular on “The David Letterman Show,” appearing in numerous comedic skits, dances and ditties at the Ed Sullivan theatre which was, conveniently, only two blocks away from her apartment at the time! Her extensive work in regional theaters from coast to coast includes her recent turn as wicked Stepmother in “Cinderella” for Mark Madama at KC Starlight. Originally from Evansville, Indiana, PLC studied voice and theatre at Indiana University. She lives in New York with her husband, Broadway dance music arranger David Chase, and their sons Dashiell and Kyler.
Darcie Roberts is a Broadway actress whose credits on the Great White Way include Crazy for You, Curtains, Aida, Dream – The Songs of Johnny Mercer, and the pre-Broadway tour of Busker Alley, as leading lady opposite Tommy Tune. She starred in the National Tours of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, and the international tour of 42ndStreet. A familiar face to MTWichita audiences, Darcie began here as a 15-year old, playing Maggie in A Chorus Line, with subsequent roles including Mother in Ragtime, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Gigi in Gigi, Martha Jefferson in 1776, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Emily Arden in State Fair, in addition to Smokey Joe’s Café, Georgia in Curtains and Polly in Crazy for You two summers ago. Other starring roles in regional productions include Rita in Leap of Faith, Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Eva Peron in Evita, Cassie in A Chorus Line, Polly in Crazy for You, Lola in Damn Yankees, Cindy Lou in The Marvelous Wonderettes and Peggy in The Andrews Brothers. Darcie has been married for 15 years to her best friend Troy and together they have 3 crazy boys- ages 6, 2 and 10 months! She is thrilled to be back on the MTWichita stage working with such wonderful friends – old and new.
Jenni Barber returns to MTWichita directly from her starring role in the world premiere musical Nobody Loves You at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. Jenni’s other theatre credits include Sam Mendes’ Bridge Project productions of As You Like It and The Tempest (Brooklyn Academy of Music / The Old Vic), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Broadway), From Up Here (Manhattan Theatre Club), Cactus Flower (Off Broadway, Westside Theatre), The Wii Plays (Ars Nova), The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown (Orange County Performing Arts Center) and the world premiere of Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s original musical Some Lovers (The Old Globe). Her television credits include “Smash,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and as series regular Lisa on the multiple-Emmy Award-winning “The Electric Company” (PBS). She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, and spent several of her collegiate summers here at MTW, where audiences might remember her as Maggie in A Chorus Line, Flo in Good News!, and Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical. Boundless love and gratitude to Nancy, Wayne and Mark.
Damon Kirsche is also a familiar face at MTWichita, where he has starred as The Scarlet Pimpernel, as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, as King Arthur in Camelot, and in concert with Kelli O’Hara. Highlights of the past year include appearances as Carrasco in Man of La Mancha with Davis Gaines at the Carpenter Center, Logos in Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows & Wings at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Joseph Pujol, tragic-comic hero of A Passing Wind (Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, premiere, Barrymore Award nomination), Jeffrey Moss in Bells Are Ringing (Reiner Reading Series), and headlining an evening of Broadway standards and rarities at NY’s Metropolitan Room. Favorite roles: Ravenal in Show Boat with Casa Mañana, Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music at South Coast Repertory, the Dentist (and others) in Little Shop of Horrors at Cabrillo Music Theatre and Freddy in My Fair Lady for McCoy / Rigby Productions (Ovation nomination). Damon is a veteran of the staged concert, having appeared numerous times with NY’s Encores Series, LA’s Reprise Series and as a proud member of the Musical Theatre Guild. He has been featured in concert at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, The Kennedy Center, City Center, the 92nd St Y, Lincoln Center, the Berliner Dom and with the California Philharmonic. Damon sings and records with vintage swing orchestra and big band “Dean Mora and his Orchestra” (recordings: “Goblin Market” and “Devil’s Serenade.”) Training: Juilliard. DamonKirsche.com.
KAREN L. ROBU (Roz) happily returns for her 16th season at MTWichita, where she has been seen as Rose in Gypsy, Ursula in Disney’s Little Mermaid, Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables, Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up, Martha Watson in White Christmas, the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz, Emma Goldman in Ragtime, Maureen / Lowbutt in HONK!, Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun, Mayzie in Seussical, and as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. Karen’s solo CD “Songs for My Baby” features Broadway tunes and 40′s style music, available at cdbaby.com. Her credits as a director include Children of Eden , Cotton Patch Gospel, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Violet, as well as her own original piece No Cross, No Crown, about suffragist Antoinette Brown Blackwell. Karen has also directed for MTYP, the Crown Uptown Theatre and taught classes for MGM Studio of the Dance and Camp Allegro. Karen has one more year before graduating from Phillips Theological Seminary with her Master of Divinity degree. She is currently Director of Faith Formation for Plymouth Congregational Church in Wichita.
RYAN VASQUEZ (Joe) is a UMich Musical Theatre Class of 2014 student, thrilled to become a part of the MTWichita family for the first time this summer! UM: Spring Awakening (Moritz), Cabaret (Cliff). Other credits include Candide (Candide), The 25th Annual … Bee (Leaf Coneybear). Love to Mom, Dad, JB, MT14, Wayne, Nancy, and all of MTWichita.
ZACHARY WILHELM (Dwayne) is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for a second season! Zachary was Nachum the Beggar in Fiddler on the Roof, and will be going into his Senior year in the Musical Theatre BFA program at Otterbein University. He is very grateful to everyone at MTWichita for this opportunity. And he would also like to thank Nick, Mom, Hayley, and the good Lord for keeping him going in this wonderful life.
JOHN KECKEISEN (Dick) is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita for the summer! Regional credits: Sunset Boulevard, Finian’s Rainbow (Mary Jane Teall nomination, Best Supporting Actor in a Musical), The Music Man, and Fiddler on the Roof (MTW); Leading Ladies (Black Hills Playhouse), Love, Sex, and the IRS (Crown Uptown), High School Musical (Topeka Civic Theatre). Thanks to Wayne, Nancy and the whole MTW family for this opportunity. Big love to Moogi, Dad, and Katie! BFA, Wichita State University. www.johnkeckeisen.com
ALEX FINKE (Missy Hart) was thrilled to make her MTWichita debut as Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof! She is a recent University of Michigan graduate, hailing from Dayton, Ohio. Favorite roles include: Jane in Tarzan (Regional Premiere) at Wagon Wheel, and Vicki in The Full Monty at University of Michigan. Thanks and love to Mom, Dad, Sarah, Chris and Jimmy!
CORY LINGNER (Josh) is a native of Indianapolis and next fall will be a Musical Theatre senior OU. He is thrilled tomake his MTWichita debut. Credits: Lyric Theatre OKC: Hairspray, 42nd Street, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; OKC Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show (Mistletoe); City Rep: Harry in My Fair Lady; OU: Larry in A Chorus Line. Favorite roles: Dickon in The Secret Garden and Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Love and thanks to all his family and friends for their continued love and support and full-hearted thanks to Wayne and the rest of the MTW Company for this wonderful and lavish opportunity.
DANI YOUNG (Margaret) is so honored to be back at MTWichita! Favorite MTW performances include Fiddler on the Roof, The Producers and Les Miserables. Favorite roles include Miss Jones in How to Succeed (WSU) directed by Wayne Bryan, Pennywise in Urinetown (WSU) and the Witch in Into the Woods (Friends University). The biggest thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Roger, Josh, and Mary Sue for this amazing job! Lovies to Mom, Dad, John and Graham!
TIMOTHY W. ROBU (Tinsworthy) is delighted to be a part of this year’s MTWichita season, as well as many previous ones. Audiences may remember Tim in past roles such as John Hancock in 1776, Billis in South Pacific, the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Amos Hart in Chicago, Oscar Shapiro in Curtains, Mr. Feldzeig in The Drowsy Chaperone, Herbie in Gypsy, and Lazar Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof. Tim also performs at several other venues in the Wichita area, including Mosley Street Melodrama and the Crown Uptown Theatre. Tim has served as Technical Director at the Crown Theatre and Artistic Director of the children’s program there. When not working at Wichita’s fine theatres, Tim has plenty to keep him busy as father to his two daughters, Katie and Francie. An added bonus to this year’s season is the chance to perform with his talented wife Karen in three of the season’s shows. Thanks to Wayne and all the folks in Wichita who produce theatre, perform theatre, and enjoy theatre. They make the Wichita area a great place to work, live, and bring up kids in.
NADINE STANNARD (Lady in the Wheelchair – Special Walk-On Performer) The Wichita area has been Nadine’s home for her adult life. Music has been a lifelong hobby for Nadine. She enjoys membership in Plymouth Chancel Choir and Plymouth Bell Choir. Associated Material, a sand and gravel production company, is Nadine’s “9 to 5” business.
LYNDY FRANKLIN SMITH (Co-Choreographer) is thrilled to be returning to MTWichita, where last summer she and her husband Jeromy choreographed Finian’s Rainbow and Sunset Boulevard. Her performance credits include the Broadway Companies of A Chorus Line (Dance Capt.) and The Little Mermaid; Three seasons at Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (NYC); National Tours of Fosse and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas as well as numerous regional theatre credits including 42nd Street (Peggy Sawyer) and Finian’s Rainbow (Susan the Silent). After serving as Dance Captain and Associate/Assistant Choreographer on numerous projects, she made her choreography debut with Ragtime at University of Michigan MT Program in 2010, and shortly followed with It’s a Grand Night for Singing with the University of Kentucky Opera Program. She is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University as well as AEA Member. She is also proud to be choreographing here with her husband, Jeromy, after all their years of performing together at MTW. Great thanks to Wayne, Nancy, Mark and Josh for their never-ending support. It’s great to be back!
JEROMY SMITH (Co-Choreographer) is so happy to be back at MTWichita, after years of performing in the summer ensemble. As a performer, Jeromy appeared in the National Touring Companies of 42nd Street and Swing, as well as regional productions at Paper Mill Playhouse, Houston Theatre Under the Stars, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and, of course MTW! Jeromy also worked for several years behind the scenes on Broadway with Jujamcyn Theatres, as well as Richards/Climan, Inc. He served as Associate General Manager with RCI, and worked on many Broadway, Off-Broadway and Touring productions including August: Osage County, November, Race, The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Blithe Spirit, Speed the Plow, Enron, Superior Donuts, All My Sons, to name a few. He is pleased to be creating choreography alongside his wife Lyndy again this summer. Jeromy is a graduate of Oklahoma City University. Thanks to Wayne for this amazing opportunity.
THOMAS W. DOUGLAS (Musical Director / Conductor) is thrilled to be celebrating thirteen seasons with such a wonderful artistic family at MTWichita, having led 41 productions with this remarkable company. Thomas has done more than 200 musical theater, opera, orchestral and oratorio productions, including conducting Webber’s Phantom of the Opera in Switzerland. Highlights include Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Bizet’s Carmen Jones, Master Class and Mondo Mangia with the late Jillene Ringle. As the Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, he is receiving acclaim for adventurous, innovative debuts and premier programs, including Carmina Burana Africana, Messiah in Space, and a presentation of standard choral masterpieces with a fusion rock band and string orchestra accompaniment. On stage he has enjoyed the roles of Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Amonasro in Aida, and Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’, both in the U.S. and in Malaysia. Thomas is on the faculty of both the Drama and the Music schools at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, is the proud recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Award, and is the Musical Director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. He is now developing his one man show entitled “Under the Influence” based on his eclectic group of musical experiences.
ROBERT A. KOVACH (Scenic and Projection Designer) is thrilled to re-join the creative team of MTWichita, having designed Xanadu last summer. Off Broadway – Theatre Row: The Sphinx Winx; New World Stages: White’s Lies and ImaginOcean (Drama Desk Nom.). National Tours – All Shook Up. Regional Designs – Theatre Under the Stars, Memphis Ballet, Walnut Street Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Phoenix Theatre, and others. TV Designs – MTV’s “Real World Chicago,” CBS Weather Center, All In a Poker Game Show, and others. Corporate Designs – Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, CBS 2, Chicago, GM, Cadillac, Morgan Stanley, and ConAgra Foods. Museum Designs – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Kohl / McCormick Children’s Museum. Robert would like to thank Wayne, Roger, and the entire talented Wichita team. Robert is a proud member of, United Scenic Artists (USA 829).www.KovachDesigns.com
SHANNON SMITH (Costume Designer) This is Shannon Smith’s first design here at MTW and she couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this production! She is a MFA graduate in costume/scenic design from Ohio University. She received her BFA in 2008 from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS. Last year, she completed an internship in New York City, with Martin Pakledinaz on the Broadway revival of Anything Goes. Her recent credits include costume design for the Metropolitan Ensemble’s production of Pride and Prejudice, and The Seagull, Ohio University’s production of Man Equals Man and, Love’s Labour’s Lost, costume design for WSU’s productions of: Hair, and The Wild Party (both were selected to perform at KCACTF region 5). She has also worked at Music Theatre of Wichita and Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY. She recently received the Zelma Weisfeld award from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology in recognition of her costume designs. Her scenic design for Ohio University’s production of The Wonderful World of Dissocia was selected to be part of the 2011 USITT Praque Quadrenial display. She would like to thank: Wayne for the opportunity, Debbie for everything she did, the costume shop, and last but not least Dennis, for all your love and support! (www.shannonlynnsmith.com)
DAVID NEVILLE (Lighting Designer) is thrilled to begin his 29th season of “Camp MTW.” In addition to many productions at MTWichita, David has designed lighting for North Shore Music Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Omaha Symphony, The United States Air Force, Stage One, Ordway Music Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, The University of Michigan, Penn State University, Portland Center Stage, North Carolina Theatre, Music Theatre West, Arkansas Rep, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, George Street Playhouse, California Music Circus, The 5th Avenue Theatre and Off-Broadway. David’s favorite designs at MTW include Les Misérables, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Cats, Ragtime, Once on this Island, Children of Eden and Jesus Christ Superstar. David also teaches lighting and scenic design at Wichita State University.
DAVID MUEHL (Sound Designer) begins his seventh season as MTWichita’s sound designer, having also served as the sound assistant previously for a season. During MTWichita’s off‐season, David is the audio producer for WSU’s College of Fine Arts where he oversees audio recording and live sound for fine arts and other performances. He also serves as sound designer for WSU’s Opera and Musical Theatre programs and is the sound advisor to student musical theatre & opera sound designers and engineers. Some of his favorite sound designs have been Children of Eden, Into the Woods, Les Misérables and Wizard of Oz. David has twice been sound designer for invited productions to the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. David has also done sound design for Wichita Center for the Arts and Cabaret Oldtown. Special thanks to Dave, Jeff and the rest of the crew of Clearwing Productions in Phoenix and Josh with Sound Kingdom and for their continued support of MTWichita.
ALENA SELLERS (Wig and Makeup Designer) is very excited to be returning for her second season as wig and makeup designer, having served as the assistant designer the previous year. She lives in Wichita and spends most of the year working at Allure Salon. She has been doing hair for fourteen years, has spent five years as an Aveda Color Educator, and is grateful for this opportunity to work with so many wonderful people. A special thanks to Sandy, Jocelyn and Anna for all your hard work this season.
LIZ SPRAY (Property Master) is in her fifth season at MTWichita and is excited to take on the role of Prop Master this year. She is a St. Louis native and has enjoyed working around the country. Most recently she has worked at Opera Theater St. Louis as an artisan for their production of Carmen. She also toured this past fall with the National Tour of The Wizard of Oz as the Prop Supervisor and Pyrotechnics Operator. Some of her favorite productions she has worked on include Deathtrap (Northern Stage), Oh! What a Lovely War (National WWI Museum), I Love a Piano (National Tour), Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables, Drowsy Chaperone (Music Theater of Wichita), Camelot, Dr. Faustus (Utah Shakespearian Festival).
JEFF TAYLOR (Production Manager) is extremely honored to be back with this excellent cast and crew for his 11th summer at MTWichita. Throughout the years since 2000, he’s had the chance to apprentice, build, design, and even act for MTWichita, and will now be the year round Production Manager, working closely with the awesome MTW staff. A loyal Kansan, Jeff graduated from East High and earned his BA in Musical Theatre from Friends University in 2006. In 2011, he earned an MFA in Design & Technology from UMKC. Jeff would like to thank the staff of MTWichita for their support and guidance, and thanks to his wonderful family for their love.
DEREK OLSON (Technical Director) is excited to be back with MTWichita where he started in 1999 as a floater between the prop shop, paint shop, electrics, sound, and the scene shop. He ended up floating his way permanently into the scene shop. Since then he has held the title of carpenter, master carpenter, technical director and car restoration specialist. He would like to thank his wife Jenny and his two beautiful children, Phillip and Evelyn.
DEBBIE ROBERTS (Costume Shop Foreman) has designed costumes for many shows here, including Curtains, Les Misérables, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, High School Musical, State Fair, Funny Girl, The Most Happy Fella, On the Town and West Side Story, plus special costumes for Aida, My Fair Lady (all of Eliza’s gowns), Annie Get Your Gun, Man of La Mancha, Crazy for You, The Sound of Music, My One and Only, and various Festival of Broadway shows. A graduate of Friends University, Debbie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Ballet. “I am so proud of the work that Music Theatre of Wichita does, it is always a pleasure to work each season. While California is home, work in the costume field takes me to New York each Christmas season to work for the World Famous Radio City Rockettes. It has been over 20 years that Wichita has been my summer home and I look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills each time. Enjoy the shows!”
EMILY F. McMULLEN (Production Stage Manager) is back for her 13th summer with MTWichita. Previous productions here include The Music Man, Sunset Boulevard, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Gypsy, Crazy for You, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Les Misérables, Big River, …Forum, Seven Brides…, Sweet Charity, Phantom!, Seussical, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Chicago, Good News!, and ShowBoat. Throughout the year, she is the Production Stage Manager at Merrimack Repertory Theatre outside of Boston. She has also stage managed for North Shore Music Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, South Coast Repertory, Capital Repertory Theater, Musical Theatre Guild, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, Broadway Texas, Theatre Emory, and The Shadowland Theatre. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
TIFFANY K. ORR (Stage Manager) is originally from Oklahoma. She currently lives in Minneapolis / Saint Paul where she is the production manger for Theater Latte Da. While in the twin cities, she has also stage managed for companies including the Pillsbury House Theatre, The Children’s Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, Park Square Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center, The Director’s, and the Guthrie. Previously she has worked on more than a dozen productions as part of the stage management team at the Phoenix Theatre, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Women, You Can’t Take It With You, Smokey Joe’s Café and The Will Rogers Follies.
Steve Landes (Director of the Apprentice Program / Shopper-Buyer) is proud to return for his eighteenth summer as the Apprentice Program Director. A Wichita resident for twenty two years, Steve worked for Friends University, the Wichita Center for the Arts, and Shakespeare in the Park. Steve moved to the Kansas City area eight years ago for a teaching position. As an educator, Steve continues to be very excited about working with the apprentices in this unique training program (and MTW is deeply grateful for Steve’s creative dedication to our young people!).
JESSE WARKENTIN (Assistant Musical Director / Conductor / Keyboards) is so happy to be spending his ninth summer with MTWichita. He conducted MTWichita’s Festival of Broadway orchestra for five years, and enjoyed music directing High School Musical 2 in 2009. In February he will make his debut with the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony as piano soloist, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue under the direction of Maestro Douglas. Throughout the year, Jesse can be found at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theatre, conducting exciting shows such as this fall’s Sweeney Todd. “My deepest gratitude to Wayne and Thomas for these special months of rich musical fulfillment, and to my incredible family for their laughter and love.”
WAYNE BRYAN (Producing Artistic Director) celebrates his 25th season at MTWichita, where he has now produced 120 Broadway-scale musicals, including dozens for which he also served as director or performer. Raised in southern California, Wayne began his professional career as both actor and director at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, while stationed as a Navy officer in Coronado. Wayne performed on Broadway in Good News!, Rodgers and Hart, and Tintypes, and on television in such shows as “M*A*S*H”(CBS), “American History” (PBS), and “Keystone” (A&E). He also directed productions for theatres all across the country before coming to Kansas, but he feels he’s doing his most challenging and rewarding work now. Wayne is co-author with Mark Madama of a revised version of the collegiate musical Good News!, whose 1993 Wichita premiere has been followed by over 300 subsequent productions around the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, plus an internationally acclaimed cast album. Wayne was a 2002 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Arts Award as an Individual Artist, and received the NCCJ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, recognizing individuals who fight discrimination and encourage diversity. Wayne has served on arts panels for the NEA and the Kansas Arts Commission, and is a frequent lecturer and guest teacher at various universities.
A History of the Musical
9 TO 5
A History of the Musical – by Wayne Bryan
Opened on April 30, 2009, Marquis Theatre; 148 performances
Directed by Joe Mantello
Choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler
Produced by Robert Greenblatt
Scenic Design by Scott Pask
Costume Design by William Ivey Long
Lighting Design by Jules Fisher and Kenneth Posner
Hair Design by Paul Huntley and Edward J. Wilson
Sound Design by John H. Shivers
Imaging by Peter Nigrini and Peggy Eisenhower
Musical Direction and Vocal Arrangements by Stephen Oremus
Orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin
Additional Orchestrations by Stephen Oremus and Alex Lacamoire
Dance Arrangments by Alex Lacamoire
Original Cast featured Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block,
Megan Hilty, Marc Kudish
Based on 1980 film; directed by Colin Higgins, starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman
(The Broadway cast album is very well performed and a fun souvenir of the show.
The 25th anniversary DVD edition of the original film has some very entertaining background features.)
Usually when we laugh, it’s because something strikes a chord of recognition with us. No matter how farcical or outlandish the situation might be, something must be honest and real at the heart of it, in order for it to be truly amusing.
The 1980 film 9 to 5 is a case in point. It’s a riotously comic study of American office workers, with absurd fantasy sequences, outrageous behavior, highly charged sexual innuendos, and a trio of inspired comediennes at the center of the action.
But the roots of the story run deep, honestly reflecting our struggle as a nation to deal with a “glass ceiling” for women in the workplace, and allowing both men and women to grapple with anger over those frustrating individuals in our lives who somehow achieve success without deserving it.
The movie was inspired by a unique national organization for working women called “9to5″ which started seven years before the film was written. After the movie came out, secretaries and office assistants who had felt invisible used it as a motivational tool, to find their voices and advocate for change, with the film’s title tune becoming the movement’s anthem. The organization’s website is www.9to5.org, now in its fourth decade of fighting for economic equality for women in the workplace.
When the film was released it was an immediate hit, grossing over $3.9 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., and becoming the 2nd highest earning film of 1980 (only topped by The Empire Strikes Back)! Today, 9 to 5 is number 74 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Funniest Movies” and is rated “88% fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film provided a star-making role for Dolly Parton in her movie debut, and the movie’s theme song “9 to 5″ became one of Parton’s biggest hits of the decade. It went to number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the U.S. country singles charts, and was nominated for several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Song. It won the 1981 People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Motion Picture Song,” and two 1982 Grammy Awards: for “Country Song of the Year” and “Female Country Vocal of the Year” (it was nominated for four Grammys). Additionally, it was certified platinum by the RIAA.
The movie inspired a sitcom version which aired from 1982 to 1983 and from 1986 to 1988. Airing on ABC (1982–83) and in first run syndication (1986–88), it featured Parton’s younger sister, Rachel Dennison, in Parton’s role; Rita Moreno and Valerie Curtin took over Tomlin and Fonda’s roles, respectively. In the second version of the show, Sally Struthers replaced Moreno. A total of 85 episodes were filmed.
In early March 2008, the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles announced that a stage musical version of 9 to 5 would have its pre-Broadway run at the Center’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, with a new score by Dolly Parton, and a book by Patricia Resnick, who had co-authored the film with its director Colin Higgins.
The musical premiered at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2008 and opened on Broadway on April 30, 2009. It was nominated for 15 Drama Desk Awards, the most received by a production in a single year, winning Best Actress recognition for Allison Janney. It was also nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Choreography. The Broadway production played 24 previews and 148 performances, closing on September 6, 2009. A slightly rewritten version, which included an introductory video featuring Dolly Parton, began a year-long National Tour in September 2010, and this is the script that is now licensed for regional productions.
Dolly Parton has announced that 9 to 5: The Musical will open in Manchester, UK this fall, and will tour the UK before a hopeful transfer into London’s West End.
We are pleased that our 2012 season at MTWichita includes this brand new show, and we hope our audiences will find it as thought-provoking as it is hilarious.