*Pony plays in the background*
The queen of all queens, Dolly Parton is set to bring the live-musical version of her hit 1980 comedy 9 to 5 to Australian stages next year.
Image credit: Ian Gavan, Getty Images
The highly-anticipated show will make its debut Down Under when it lands at Sydney Lyric Theatre in April 2020.
Caroline O’Connor, Marina Prior, Samantha Dodemaide and Erin Clare have been entrusted with the much-loved lead roles in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical.
Marina Prior will play Violet Newstead (the role made famous in the 190 film by Lily Tomlin), a smart, sassy and efficient woman who has worked all her life at Consolidated Industries. Prior gained prominence as Cosette in the Australian premiere of Les Misérables and Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera, and has since played lead roles in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and more – becoming one of Australia’s favourite leading ladies in the process.
Samantha Dodemaide will be Judy Bernly (you may recognise her as Jane Fonda’s character), a newly separated, new to the workforce woman who finds more than just a job at Consolidated Industries. Dodemaide played Dorothy in the national tour of the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz. Her credits also include Chicago, Evita, and Singin’ In The Rain among others.
Erin Clare will play Dolly Parton’s role as Doralee Rhodes. She is a bright and beautiful country gal with a real ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude. Clare’s first starring role was as Scaramouche in We Will Rock You, and she has also featured in the likes of Heathers the Musical and American Idiot.
Caroline O’Connor will portray the comical Roz Keith, the administrative assistant who is fiercely – and unrequitedly – in love with her boss Franklin Hart Jnr. Currently performing in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman, O’Connor has played lead roles on Broadway, in the West End, France and across Australia.
Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical will land at Sydney Lyric Theatre in April 2020. The first show is set to take place on Tuesday 21 April, with shows currently locked in until Sunday 10 May.
Okay, now that we’ve got the singalong over and done with, let’s dive into the show.
Originally starting out as a film starring power trio Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, 9 to 5 went on to become a five-season television sitcom, led by Parton’s younger sister. But as they say, good things never die, and in 2009, 9 to 5 was adapted for the stage – you really can’t stop a fab story about female empowerment in the workplace for living on.
The musical adaptation follows the same plot as the film. For anyone unfamiliar, we meet three workmates, Doralee, Violet and Judy, who are pushed too far by their sexist, egotistical boss. What follows is a whirlwind adventure, with our three stars plotting to kidnap their boss and get their revenge. Ahead of its time when it first opened in cinemas back in December 1980, still today – nearly forty years later – the message that underpins 9 to 5 is still just as relevant and important.
When the smash musical was first reimagined for Broadway in 2009, Parton received a Grammy nod and Tony nomination for the original music she composed, so expect plenty of feel-good tunes to sing along to.
It made its West End debut in London back in February, originally only scheduled for a 16-week run, but due to its insane popularity, it has since been extended multiple times and is now on an open-ended run.
When 9 to 5 lands in Australia, it will make its home in Sydney, and our main girl Dolly Parton is stoked. “I am beyond excited to be bringing this show to Australia,” she says. “The response from the UK to 9 to 5: The Musical has been incredible. The overwhelmingly positive fan reaction to this universal story tickles every rhinestone on my body. I can’t wait for more people throughout Australia to have a good ole singalong and the time of your life.”
Check out the trailer from its West End season for a little sneak peek into what we can expect: