Hello, Dolly: Country star Dolly Parton transforms '9 to 5' into a musical

9 to 5 Tour

Cast List:
Dee Hoty 
Diana DeGarmo 
Mamie Parris 
Joseph Mahowald 
Kristin Zbornik 
Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt.
Other Credits:
Lyrics by: Dolly Parton
Music by: Dolly Parton
Book by: Patricia Resnick

9 to 5 Tour Cast List: Dee Hoty Diana DeGarmo Mamie Parris Joseph Mahowald Kristin Zbornik Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt. Other Credits: Lyrics by: Dolly Parton Music by: Dolly Parton Book by: Patricia Resnick

Working '9 to 5' the Dolly Parton musical comes to Naples as part of the 2010-11 season at the Naples Phiharmonic Center for the Arts.

Working "9 to 5" the Dolly Parton musical comes to Naples as part of the 2010-11 season at the Naples Phiharmonic Center for the Arts.

9 to 5 Tour

Cast List:
Dee Hoty 
Diana DeGarmo 
Mamie Parris 
Joseph Mahowald 
Kristin Zbornik 
Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt.
Other Credits:
Lyrics by: Dolly Parton
Music by: Dolly Parton
Book by: Patricia Resnick

9 to 5 Tour Cast List: Dee Hoty Diana DeGarmo Mamie Parris Joseph Mahowald Kristin Zbornik Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt. Other Credits: Lyrics by: Dolly Parton Music by: Dolly Parton Book by: Patricia Resnick

9 to 5 Tour

Cast List:
Dee Hoty 
Diana DeGarmo 
Mamie Parris 
Joseph Mahowald 
Kristin Zbornik 
Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt.
Other Credits:
Lyrics by: Dolly Parton
Music by: Dolly Parton
Book by: Patricia Resnick

9 to 5 Tour Cast List: Dee Hoty Diana DeGarmo Mamie Parris Joseph Mahowald Kristin Zbornik Jane Blass, Patrick Boyd, Paul Castree, Holly Davis, Janet Dickinson Madeleine Doherty, Marjorie Failoni, Gregg Goodbrod, K.J. Hippensteel, Jesse J.P. Johnson, Michelle Marmolejo, April Nixon, Ryah Nixon, Rick Pessagno, Wayne Schroder, Micah Shepard and Travis Waldschmidt. Other Credits: Lyrics by: Dolly Parton Music by: Dolly Parton Book by: Patricia Resnick

Dolly Parton. composer of dozens of hits, many of them recorded in her own sparking, wind-chime voice, knew how to churn out Grammy-winning melodies with one hand — possibly even her writing hand — tied behind her back. The idea of writing for Broadway, however, gave her a case of the musical jitters.

“When they first asked me to write ‘9 to 5’ I was little bit nervous. I wasn’t sure I could do it,” she conceded in a phone interview from her Tennessee home last month. But It turned out to be vastly more fun than writing another CMA chart topper.

“It was really a freeing experience. When you’re writing for recording, you’ve gotta stay strict with your timing. You’ve got to stay under three minutes on radio,” she explained. “With this, I could ramble more, tell the story. And it was fun having all those characters fully formed and not having to create them.”

Parton’s musical version of

“9 to 5,” the 1980 film she made with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, comes to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts on Monday for a four-day run.

The “9 to 5” musical has plotboiler themes such as “Around Here” and “I Just Might,” and ballads like “Let Love Grow.” All of them were written by Parton. Alas, its effervescent composer will not be coming along; she’s seen it enough times to step into every part.

“I spent more money than I’ll ever make bringing my friends to see it in New York,” she joked. But she was still nervous about one location: a premiere in Nashville a week after this interview. “I’m more excited for Nashville really because so many of my family and friends couldn’t come to New York, and this is the first time they’ll be seeing it.”

“9 to 5” is one of the early banner bearers against sexual harassment. It pits three unlikely office colleagues against the boss from hell, who has amorous intentions as nerve-wracking as his temper.

Parton isn’t the only hard-working veteran whose name is attached to the show. Diana DeGarmo, who plays Dolly’s character, Doralee Rhodes, in “9 to 5,” is a third-season runner-up on “American Idol.” She went on to play in both “Hair” and “Hairspray,” so covering her long chestnut hair in a blond Texas cheerleader hairdo shouldn’t be hard. Dee Hoty, as Violet Newstead, her underdog ally (the Lily Tomlin role), is a triple Tony nominee for her work in “Footloose,” “Will Rogers Follies” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Goes Public.” And the third of the triumvirate who crack open office sexual politics is Mamie Parris. whose experience ranges from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular to touring with Kenny Rogers.

Jeff Calhoun, a Tony nominee who has choreographed and or directed such bigs as “High School Musical” and a revival of “Grease” and “Big River,” directs. He has even worked with Parton, as a chorus dancer in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”

But it wouldn’t be “9 to 5” without Parton, whose blunt witticisms in the original film included backing down her pursuing boss with “I’m gonna get that gun of mine, and I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!” So the producers have slyly incorporated Dolly.

“I’m on video at the beginning of the show,” she explained, almost sheepishly. Parton hoped to drop in on a few performances during the tour — probably not Naples, she concedes — and none more importantly than the Nashville date she was planning to attend.

“9 to 5” as a movie was one of her favorite projects, and Parton said she’s glad the musical doesn’t stray far from its ’80s setting and its tone: “It has sort of a ‘Dilbert’ comic strip humor about it. You’ve got these great lines like ‘I killed my boss. You think they’re not going to fire me for that?’ ”

Even while “9 to 5” tours, Parton has had pen to music paper for another project. It’s not a musical, she said, but a movie that’s “musically driven.”

“Joyful Noise,” as it’s titled, follows a traveling show choir fighting to stay afloat, with Queen Latifah as the lead singer and Parton as the choir director’s wife.

“I get to keep my hairdo. I’m an over-the-top person in my personality and my look,” Parton said. And, yes, she and the Queen will sing what Parton called a “big blowout duet” of Gospel music.

“I grew up singing that music,” recalled Parton, whose grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher and whose earliest solos were in church. She’s most excited about a song from “Joyful Noise” she hoped America would take to heart, one Parton said she wrote to help people get past the anger she sees on every level.

“It’s called ‘Not enough.’ There’s not enough of anything we really need. But I suggest everybody try to soften those hard places in our heads,” she said. “Why can’t we all get along?”

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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