9 to 5 Is A Must See

This musical really will leave you inspired.

The+cast+of+9+to+5+performs+the+final+musical+number.+
The cast of 9 to 5 performs the final musical number.

The cast of 9 to 5 performs the final musical number.

Madison Anderson

Madison Anderson

The cast of 9 to 5 performs the final musical number.

Grace Ojewia, Co-News Editor

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Walking into the auditorium I had no idea what to expect from this musical. I, in particular, only knew the basic story line because I had to know for a previous article. So, it ironically is no surprise that the show met and exceeded my expectations. The characters were relatable in so many different ways and the story implicitly revealed the problems of a particular era and culture where women were oppressed through the stories of the three main characters.

The musical is centered on three women who work at the business Consolidated Companies. Judy Bernly, played by Madeleine Rodriguez, is forced to find a job after her husband, Dick – portrayed by James Barton, left her for his secretary. She happens to find a job at Consolidated where she meets senior office supervisor Violet Newstead, played by Hanna Richards, who introduces her to her new co-workers and the basics of the job.

Everyone at Consolidated despises Doralee Rhodes, played by Brianna Irvine, who they believe is having an affair with the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss Franklin Hart, played by Ian Shannon. Each woman deals with her own adversities and pain in her own way and they all eventually attempt to find a way to make their lives better. The musical follows these women as they try to make a living out of the “hell” they are trapped in.

I found myself wanting to comfort the characters when they were facing failure and hardships and wanting to give the horrible boss a piece of my mind. (Although, at the same time not really because the actor is really nice). The set and quality acting really made it feel like you were in a real office and could jump in and join the workers at any moment. What blew me away the most was watching people I probably see almost every day become someone else and exhibit talents that I didn’t even know they had.

“It was a huge departure from who I was [as] a person,” Ian Shannon said. “I’m not a womanizing creep in real life. So it was difficult at first to be this despicable human being. But it’s one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played.”

There were times where I was more serious because the scene was so sad and then other times when I found myself laughing because some unexpected humor was dropped. The pace of the play was slow enough to understand what was going on without any previous knowledge, but also fast enough to keep the audience interested through the whole production. One could tell that everyone involved dedicated a lot of time, effort, and sacrifice to make this so good.

“It’s one of the best feelings to sing that finale song and know that what you have put out on stage is something that you are proud of,” Hanna Richards said. “Having all of your hard work come together is so rewarding.”

There were moments during some of the songs where I felt like I was watching a live Broadway musical that I had somehow been lucky enough to see. (The cast sounded that professional and that good). I feel like this production addressed many issues that we still deal with today, like harassment, sexism, and workplace inequality just to name a few. The fact that these women were able to fight against everything that told them they wouldn’t make it or brought them down is something that I took away from this once the curtains closed and the lights dimmed.

“The thing that stands out to me the most in the musical is how it deals with taboo topics such as harassment in the work environment,” cast member Brenna Western said. “Which is still a reality today and probably won’t change for quite a long time….I hope little girls come to the performance and remember the message as they grow older and follow their dreams, not letting people tell them they can’t do it even if the odds are against them.”

If you haven’t already seen 9 to 5, I highly recommend that you do. There are two more shows happening tomorrow, Monday, November 6th and on Tuesday, November 7th both at 7:00 p.m. Tickets costs $8 in advance, or $7 in advance if you show your student id, and $10 at the door. You can buy tickets from cast members during both lunches, from the treasurer, or online at myschoolfees.com. There are also refreshments that will be sold. It was a smash hit for me and I promise that if nothing else, the themes of this musical and the stories of these people will leave you inspired.

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