The title song from the 1980 film “9 to 5” had a lyric that opined, “Working 9 to 5 ain’t no way to make a living.” A local theater director says that the cast and crew of The Artists Civics Theatre has put in many eight-hour shifts themselves to bring the musical version of the film to the stage.
Opening night of the ACTS production of “9 to 5: The Musical” is Friday, Oct. 5, at One Reid Street Theatre. Performances will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 5, 6, 12 and 13, and at 3 p.m. Oct. 7 and 14.
“I’m a fan of the movie, and the plot of the musical is based off the movie, only with musical numbers written by Dolly Parton. It’s a lot of fun, and very funny,” director Damien Thibodeaux said.
The musical will be presented in a concert format, a decision made to allow the actors more movement on stage, and to offer less distractions for the audience.
“Because this show is drawn from the movie there are a lot of scenes, if we didn’t do it in this concert style that would be a lot of time changing from one scene to another, and we wanted to avoid that,” Thibodeaux said. “I decided to just do it with a black stage, an ensemble of singers, a bandstand, a desk and a sofa that come on and off stage; instead of being literal it really suggests the stage. We felt that because of the popularity of the movie, audiences would respond to it.”
Thibodeaux also said a tight budget contributed to keeping the set minimal.
The show was cast out of both newcomers and veterans of the ACTS stage, a move Thibodeaux says he often makes when casting a show under time constraints.
“When it’s a production like this in which there’s not a lot of time to put it together, it helps me to know what a person is like on stage,” he said, “and, for this show we only had about eight and half weeks to put it together, including rehearsals; it was intense.”
“It’s a great cast, that just fit these characters perfectly,” Thibodeaux said, “and, they all have very big voices which they get to use to great effect during the show.”
The show’s cast is Haley Ford Coburn as Judy Burnley; Kristen Harrell as Doralee Rhodes; Robin Prejean as Violet Newstead; Barry Whitten as Franklin Hart Jr.; Tracy LeMieux as Margaret; Kim George as Kathy; Kelly Rowland as Roz; Ann Veillon as Marie; Emmie Lancon as Missy; Michael Muffuleto as Bob Enright; Aaron Roy as Joe; Allen VanMetre, Eric Malic Reed and Jordan Thibodeaux, as the ensemble; and a special celebrity cameo appearance for every performance, as Mr. Tinsworthy.
The show’s opening performance will be a gala with a portion of the $35 ticket benefiting the Calcasieu Women’s Shelter, and will feature a hors d’oeuvres menu with wine and champagne. Donations of women’s business attire to prepare clients of the shelter reenter the workforce will be taken through the run of the show.
Tickets for all other performances cost $25 for adults and $15 for students. They can be purchased by calling ACTS Theatre at 337-477-2287, online at www.actstheatre.com or at the Civic Center box office, Lakeshore Medic Pharmacy or Moss Bluff Florist & Gifts.