Review: CVP mounts “9 TO 5” an anthem to workplace feminism penned by Goddess-of-Backwards Glam Dolly Parton
Just in time to mark the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, the Cocoa Village Playhouse mounts a victorious production of “9 TO 5,” a bold and campy anthem to women’s equality in the workplace as penned by Goddess-of-Backwoods-Glam Dolly Parton.
In this familiar story, based on the 1980s film and featuring Parton’s platinum song of the same title, Parton’s three female protagonists team-up to triumph over objectification and systemic discrimination in their coup to fracture the corporate “glass ceiling.”
This production is a tremendous victory for the all-volunteer cast who have kept the plot and songs fresh during the five months of sheltering since auditions were held in March. Major kudos to returning CVP soloists Jeanette Roach, Rene Little, and Amanda Telebrico (“Violet,” “Doralee,” and “Judy”) for their face-shredding power ballads. Rick Roach adeptly toes the line as the bigot we love to hate and Sally Kalarovich slays as his horny sidekick. New-to-me Tate Telebrico and returning Larry Jones equalize male representation as “good guys.”
Returning “Rising Star” Torie D’Alessandro—home from touring in Sesame Street Live!—takes on the double role as salary-activist “Maria” and the production’s choreographer. In her brief preamble, D’Alessandro remarks that she’s “Happy to present this production especially with what’s going on in the world” by which she might mean the misogyny that continues to haunt business, politics, and media.
D’Alessandro’s choreography features light-footed men and women in contemporary moves that are a delight to watch from the balcony for their patterns and angles. They are accompanied by 11 live musicians led by J. Tom Black. Daniel Hill’s rainbow of sequined or corporate attire delights the eyes while firmly anchoring us in the 1980s world of big hair and shoulder pads. The plot’s fractured ceiling is represented by Daniel Allen’s prismatic proscenium—beautifully rendered in technicolor mosaic—with a retro-modular set that seems to explode from the brewing feminism.
If you are willing to brave the climb, the balcony has plenty of space to spread out. While the Playhouse was at nearly 50% capacity, safety is stressed for the audience in the form of requisite temperature checks and convenient hand sanitizer stations. Posted signs ask for masks to be worn for the entire performance yet concessions are still available for sly snacking.
The Playhouse, and in fact all of Brevard’s magnificent community theaters, would be grateful for your patronage in order to keep their doors open both now and in the future. Season passes are on sale at CVP for their upcoming season; which begins in October with a series of plays by Edgar Allen Poe and continues with musicals of LITTLE WOMEN and NEWSIES. Call (321) 636-5050 or visit https://cocoavillageplayhouse.com/ for tickets.