Workin' 9 to 5 -- on Broadway!

Dolly Parton brings the feminist cult classic to the stage.


Judy Berman
July 17, 2008 12:20AM (UTC)

Who doesn't love "9 to 5"? The mere fact that Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin shared the screen is enough for me, but their collaboration on a hilarious movie that skewers sexism in the workplace is almost too good to be true. The scene that shows all three women fantasizing about killing their sleazy boss? Perfect! And then when they've got him all tied up in his house? Genius! If I didn't own it on DVD, I would hardly believe it was real.

Now, 28 years after the cult classic's premiere, "9 to 5" is coming to Broadway. And -- thank God! -- it's bringing Dolly along for the ride. Though she won't be playing Doralee Rhodes, cinema's bustiest, nerviest secretary, she has written more than 20 songs for the show. "9 to 5: The Musical" is set to open in New York on April 23, 2009, with a promising cast that includes "The West Wing's" Allison Janney.

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Why the revival? "The movie had lasted so long and touched so many people," Parton told the Daily News. "And my song had done so well through the years. It's my biggest number on stage. When I start singing '9 to 5' the crowd always goes crazy and they know every word because they've seen the movie. And I thought, 'Yeah, well, if they like that, wait'll they get a load of this!'"

While I'll admit that I'm most excited to hear what Parton's come up with and experience the movie's campy fun in person, I feel compelled to add that he message of "9 to 5" is just as relevant now as it was in 1980. As Lisa Chamberlain points out in her fantastic new book, "Slackonomics," women were earning 74.7 cents to men's dollar as recently as 2005, making the current wage gap even more significant than it was in the '80s. You said it, Dolly -- what a way to make a living!


Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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