“9 to 5: The Musical” opened this weekend at Migration Hall in Kingsville. The production was co-produced by Cardinal Music Productions and Migration Hall and is receiving great acclaim from all those who attended the Kingsville production. It runs for one more weekend, from May 12 to 14, 2023.
The musical is a stage adaptation of the classic 1980 movie and song of the same name, featuring music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, the country music icon who wrote all the songs and co-wrote the book with Patricia Resnick, the original screenplay writer. The show tells the story of three working women, Violet, Doralee, and Judy, who work at Consolidated Industries under the tyrannical and sexist boss, Franklin Hart Jr. The women endure mistreatment and harassment from Hart Jr. until they come together to take revenge on him.
Violet is a senior supervisor who has been passed over for a promotion in favor of a less qualified male colleague. Doralee, who is often the victim of false rumors spread by Hart Jr., is his personal secretary. And Judy is a newly divorced woman who has just joined the company and is struggling to adapt to the corporate environment.
The musical deals with themes of workplace inequality, sexual harassment, and gender roles. It presents a lighthearted take on these issues, highlighting the strength and resilience of working women in the face of adversity. The show ultimately sends a message of empowerment and solidarity, encouraging audiences to stand up for their rights and fight for equality.
While the story may seem a bit dated and problematic with its sexist content by modern standards, the reality is, these problems still do exist and the show resonates greatly with those who identify with these issues.
This production’s success is largely due to the talented cast, led by Lindsay Norris as Violet Newstead, Laura Ruthven as Doralee Rhodes, and Alysia Therrien as Judy Bernly. Joe Cardinal’s portrayal of Franklin Hart Jr. is a standout performance in the show. He brings just the right amount of sliminess and arrogance to the character, making him both despicable and entertaining to watch. Cardinal’s facial expressions and body language capture the essence of the character, showcasing his manipulative and predatory nature, delivering a Franklin whose smugness is both infuriating and captivating.
Melissa Mills is equally as fantastic as Hart’s overworked assistant Roz Keith, and Brandon Presley also delivers an excellent performance as Joe.
The creative team behind the production is top-notch and shines in the Migration Hall environment, with Joe Cardinal directing, Bayleigh Cardinal serving as music director, Caiden Finlay as choreographer, Sherry Bondy designing costumes, and Joe Cardinal handling the artistic set design and painting.
The production value is impressive, with striking set design, lighting, and sound effects. The unique setting of Migration Hall adds to the show’s overall quality, allowing the cast’s dance routines and stage changeovers to shine. The singing is particularly noteworthy, with each actor delivering powerful vocals that are elevated by the Hall’s amazing audio system.
The choreography by Caiden Finlay is another standout element of the production. The dance routines are energetic and well-executed, adding to the show’s overall entertainment value. The costumes by Sherry Bondy also worked well, with each character’s wardrobe reflecting their personalities and status in the workplace.
The Cardinal Music Productions version of “9 to 5: The Musical” is a well-produced and entertaining show that successfully brings the classic movie to the stage at Migration Hall in Kingsville. Tickets are available online for the final performances from May 12-14. Visit Eventbrite to purchase.