Still Workin'

Gay fans flock to the premiere of 9 to 5 at Los Angeles's Ahmanson Theatre to see Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin -- and end up staying for an excellent show.

BY Corey Scholibo

September 22 2008 12:00 AM ET

9 TO 5 DAVID HYDE PIERCE AND JANE FONDA X390 (�Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging) | ADVOCATE.COM

Fifteen minutes
into the show the curtain comes down and a technical
problem regarding the set is announced over the PA. After a
few minutes Parton come onstage and grabs the
microphone to address the audience. “I
don’t know what else to do but sing '9 to 5,'
” she announces. She strikes up the band for an
impromptu performance, enlisting the audience's help
for the chorus. When the song is over and the set is
still "stuck," she decides to deliver the speech she was
planning for the end of the night. She thanks
screenwriter Pat Resnick, who also wrote the book for
the musical, and Jane Fonda, who originated the idea
for the movie, for including her in the first place, and
points out costars, including Martin Mull, who have
also come out for the performance. When there is
still time to kill she decides to sing “I Will
Always Love You,” and I'm sure that by this point
the audience is happy to have that set stuck for
as long as possible, but before she can start they are
ready to go again, so it's back to the show.

The set is very
complicated; it's easy to see how it can get stuck. And
while the concept of women oppressed in the workplace,
with Violet dreaming of a female CEO, may seem a
little dated in a post–Carly Fiorina world, the
idea of a corporation exploiting its workers and the feeling
that one can never get ahead should play well in
today’s economy. While the standout numbers are
country and western, Parton's songwriting has
broad appeal, writing catchy hooks, ballads, and
reprises with the best of them. Like The Drowsy
Chaperone
before it, this should be another Los
Angeles–born show bound for Broadway.

9 TO 5 Lance Bass X390 (�Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging) | ADVOCATE.COMDancing With the Starsstar Lance Bass

Tags: Theater

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