I admit that I haven't seen anything from 9 to 5. Because it's only in LA. And has been for the past year since it's been workshopped. Since I live in lowly Delaware, I'll have to wait until it hits Broadway in March 2009 to see it... and that's if I feel like paying the exorbitant amount that box offices are charging nowadays. I may look into preview tickets.
I have been scolded for knocking 9 to 5 since I hadn't seen it. I have seen the movie, and I've been noticing the downward spiral in the quality of theatre. I just could't see how that movie can translate into a musical that's going to catch on the way that Wicked, Rent, and Hairspray did. It's a cute movie. It's one of those movies that I categorize as bad movies you love. It's not that the acting is bad, because it isn't or else it would be unwatchable. It's just a lot of fluff. Legally Blonde is one of those movies, and so is Bed of Roses (which happens to be one of my favorite movies ever). Even Mel Brooks' latest musical didn't do so hot... and Young Frankenstein has musical juggernauts in it (Megan Mullally, Sutton Foster, Roger Bart... and Susan Stroman choreography). There's no reason that that show shouldn't have a sold out house every night.
With that said... I looked up the cast of 9 to 5. And I have to tell you... it has my three favorite musical theatre women in it. Allison Janey... one of the funniest ladies in entertainment today. If you want to see good comedy, watch Drop Dead Gorgeous. She's flipping hysterical. Stephanie J. Block...the woman who was supposed to be Elphaba in the first place... she's incredible and very underrated. And finaly, Megan Hilty...who is comedy gold. She's playing Dolly Parton's role, and she's this perfect mixture of Dolly and Loni Anderson's character from WKRP in Cincinatti (and if you have no idea what that is, RENT IT...IT'S AWESOME. I wish they would release it with the original music in it though. WKRP was a great TV show that I only discovered last year...and it isn't just funny for radio people.) I also looked up some stuff on Youtube, which is scarce since 9 to 5 is only on the West Coast, and us poor lowly East Coast folk have to wait and search on Youtube, and I now have the song 9 to 5 stuck in my head. So thanks for that. The only stage clip they have is a montage to the chorus singing 9 to 5. Which sounds pretty good. And they have a clip of Megan Hilty (which is where I got the Loni Anderson vibe... because the way she stands and a scene where she rips the boss a new asshole really reminded me of something that Jennifer did in WKRP). but that's it. Any other songs are just audio with the logo on 9 to 5 on it.
I said before that when I listen to musicals or see them... I'm looking for that song where I go "Wow... I need to sing that." 9 to 5 has that song. Get Out and Stay Out. Stephanie Block sings it... and man can that girl sing. It's really visceral. My gauge for good theatre (and this may sound really dumb, but whatever) is if I cry or not. And I cry at happy theatre. I cry HARD at happy theatre. I saw Beauty and the Beast on Broadway when I was 14 (STARRING ANDREA MCARDLE WHO I FREAKING LOVE) and during Be Our Guest...I burst into tears. Because it was pretty. The next year, I saw Annie Get Your Gun...and as soon as Bernadette Peters walked onstage I was a sobbing mess. And that entrance is funny. Sometimes I'm crying because I'm laughing so hard, like in Hairspray. When I saw Wicked... I knew I was going to cry as soon as Elphaba started flying in Defying Gravity, and I did. I know that if I do get to see 9 to 5... when that song happens... I'm going to burst into tears.
When I'm wrong, I admit it. and I was wrong about 9 to 5. I hope it does well. I don't wish ill on any piece of theatre...I hope they all go well. I'm just a realist, and when I don't think something is going to work I have no problem saying it. But when I'm wrong... I say I'm wrong.