Three unlikely friends will take control of their circumstances in surprising ways while working in a man’s world when “9 to 5: The Musical” hits the stage at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and 2 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall as part of Top of the Marq and Commerce Bank Theatre and Dance Series. Face coverings will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place. Due to capacity limits, patrons are encouraged to reserve their seats early.
This high-energy show features a jubilant score and an easily relatable cast of characters.
Pushed to a breaking point, three coworkers devise a plan to get revenge on the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss. In a hilarious turn of events, the women take control of the company that had previously kept them down with secret schemes, poisonous plots and even the occasional hog-tie.
Dr. Kenn Stilson, director of the show and chair of The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance, called the musical comedy a “feminist piece celebrating the intelligence and creativity and the power of women.”
With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and a book by Patricia Resnick, “9 to 5: The Musical” is based on the seminal 1980 film and set in the late 1970s.
“The movie was wildly popular in the 1980s, and Dolly Parton starred in it,” said Stilson, noting Parton fans would especially enjoy the fast, upbeat musical numbers which are reminiscent of the American country singer’s music.
“It’s very much like the movie except it’s now told in the form of a musical, and it’s a feminist play, really, about a male, chauvinist society,” he said, “and this is what happens when the women rebel against that male-dominated world.”
The show condemns chauvinism, but it doesn’t push a narrative that “all men are bad,” Stilson said, noting the musical is told through “a lot of fun.”
“It is told in the form of a comedy but ultimately, it has a serious point and it’s told through the world of Dolly Parton,” Stilson said. “All of her stuff is very real but it’s always told with a twinkle in her eye and a smile.”
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampus.org.