Nicole Patano ’22
If you saw Providence College’s production of 9 to 5: The Musical, you probably spent the past two weeks wishing the show’s musical numbers would “Get Out and Stay Out” of your head. It is rare that every song in a musical is a hit, but when they are all written by the “Queen of Country,” Dolly Parton, such is only to be expected. And with the vocals of a star-studded cast including Halle Pratt ’22, Kate Salvato ’23, Emma Lindsay ’25, Alex Cannon ’22, Analisa Pisano ’23, and Nick Bullock ’22, this musical was destined for greatness.
The cast, crew, and production team thought of everything, from a pre-show film created by John Chatfield ’19 to paper flying out of a malfunctioning printer to a portrait of CEO Franklin Hart Jr. (Cannon) hung up in his office. Even the speakers were “disguised” as ’70s-themed decor.
9 to 5 is the first live musical the theater, dance, and film department has been able to put on in two years. After much anticipation, many hours of rehearsal, and a few hiccups along the way, the cast and crew got to celebrate the fruits of their labor on opening night, April 8.
It was clear right away how much work and passion went into creating the production. A tale of adversity in the office set in the 1970s, 9 to 5 is still just as necessary in light of the #MeToo movement and the anniversary of 50 years of women at Providence College. What better way to celebrate feminism and women than by putting on a musical starring three take-charge women who overcome sexism and mysoginy in the workplace? Unfortunately, while the comedy musical has a happy ending, audiences must endure the boy’s club, “locker room” talk, and Hart being a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” throughout the entire first act. Even the solution does not come through changing the hearts and minds of the men, rather through deception, scheming, and just a handful of illegal acts.
Politics and morality aside, the cast and crew put on an undeniably good show. More impressive than the complex and involved set changes between nearly every scene was the ability of each actor to fully embody their character’s personality. Pratt brought out Violet’s awkwardness and assertiveness, portraying the inner battle between her insecurities as a single mother and her confidence as “One of the Boys.” Lindsay nails the role of the shy and clumsy Judy, but when it comes to her singing, she always takes care of business. Salvato fills Parton’s stilettos well, proving that she is no “Backwoods Barbie.” Finally, Cannon goes above and beyond to run Consolidated Industries, even shaving his facial hair for the part. It is no question that the cast all “Shine Like the Sun” on stage, even while dealing with dark topics such as sexual harassment, sexism, and blackmail.
Fortunately, if you could not attend 9 to 5: The Musical during opening weekend, you are in luck: Violet, Doralee, Judy, and company will be back on the grind at Consolidated come April 22. You can see them hustle and bustle at 7:30 p.m. on April 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. on April 24. Tickets are available for purchase on the TDF website.