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CLC hosts Brainerd Community Theatre’s production of ‘9 to 5: The Musical’

Brainerd Community Theatre will put on a production of “9 to 5: The Musical” at Central Lakes College. The musical comedy by Dolly Parton is based on her 1980 hit movie about women in the workplace.

The Brainerd Community Theatre cast rehearses "9 to 5: The Musical" Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College.
The Brainerd Community Theatre cast rehearses "9 to 5: The Musical" Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — If you've ever tumbled out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen, poured yourself a cup of ambition, and yawned and stretched and tried to come to life, Dolly Parton feels your pain.

The country music icon came up with the catchy “everyday-working person” theme song “9 to 5” for the 1980 movie that was adapted into a musical comedy of the same name. Brainerd Community Theatre will put on a production of the musical at Central Lakes College.

“The musical very closely mirrors the movie,” said Amy Borash, director and choreographer of the community theater’s production. “The changes that were made for the musical are minor — really minor — nothing consequential.”

The Brainerd Community Theatre cast rehearses "9 to 5 The Musical" Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College.
Actresses rehearse their lines in preparation for opening night of "9 to 5 The Musical."
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The motion picture stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Parton as working women who fantasize about getting even with and overthrowing the company's "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" they call their boss played by Dabney Coleman, according to a synopsis of the film’s plot.

“I was drawn to the role because I really am a fan of Dolly Parton,” said Maren Martin, who plays Parton’s role on stage. “I think she is kind of an iconic individual and a very talented entertainer as well as a philanthropist and a feminist and just all-around wonderful person.”

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The 28-year-old Martin plays Doralee Rhodes in “9 to 5: The Musical,” and the actor from Baxter appeared in the thriller “Wait Until Dark,” another Brainerd Community Theatre production.

The Brainerd Community Theatre cast rehearses "9 to 5 The Musical" Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College.
Cast members perform a scene from "9 to 5 The Musical."
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

“This is my first musical that I've ever done as an adult. The last musical I was in was when I was a high school student and that was 14 years ago, so this has been a challenge and a big undertaking for me,” Martin said.

Kevin Boyles plays the despicable and detestable Franklin Hart in the musical, which opened on Broadway in 2009 and received four Tony Awards nominations. Hart was played by Coleman in the film, which grossed over $103 million.

“Parts like these don't come along very often for 50-something people,” said Boyles, a 55-year-old resident of Baxter who appeared in the community theater’s production of “Xanadu.” “Plus I get to be the bad guy, which is kind of fun, too.”

The Brainerd Community Theatre cast rehearses "9 to 5 The Musical" Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College.
Cast members perform a musical number in "9 to 5 The Musical."
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Nicole Rothleutner, 29, of Brainerd plays Judy Bernly, a role brought to life by Fonda. Rothleutner has appeared in the community theater’s production of “Sister Act.”

Rothleutner said she believes her character undergoes the most personal growth in “9 to 5.”

“The reason she is getting a job is because her husband has left her, has cheated on her and now she's having to work for the first time in her life, basically,” Rothleutner said.

Set in the late 1970s, “9 to 5: The Musical” is a hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era and is “outrageous, thought-provoking and even a little romantic,” according to promotional material for the production at the college’s Chalberg Theatre in Brainerd.

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“It's an awesome, funny show, and the music is brilliantly written because the entire score is written by Dolly Parton so the music is fantastic,” Borash said.

Liz Davies of Deerwood who is in her 50s plays Violet Newstead in the musical comedy, a role played by Tomlin.

“There are also these really poignant parts of her character like she has a couple of vulnerable moments, but she's vying also to be the CEO or at least get up the next rung in the corporate environment, and she's not able to because she's a woman,” Davies said.

MORE ARTICLES BY FRANK LEE:
“Living” is a new drama starring English actor Bill Nighy a veteran civil servant who receives a terminal diagnosis from his doctor and decides to live it up with the help of a plucky young woman.

The women of “9 to 5” give their workplace a dream makeover, “taking control of the company that had always kept them down,” according to the synopsis of the plot.

“Everything that we go through in this play, including being put down by Hart — I mean he uses some pretty harsh language towards us women — all of that is happening right now.,” Davies said of the plot’s relevance to today’s society.”

Borash said of “9 to 5: The Musical,” “It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's empowering. It's just a great night of entertainment and the cast is superb.”

If you go

  • Who: Brainerd Community Theatre.
  • What: “9 to 5: The Musical” with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.
  • When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, and Thursday, and Tuesday through Feb. 2; and 6 p.m. Saturday.
  • Where: Central Lakes College, Chalberg Theatre, Brainerd.
  • Tickets: $17 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $10 for those under 18 and Central Lakes College students.
  • Info: Call 218-855-8199 or visit www.clcperformingarts.com .

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com . Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL .

Related Topics: BRAINERDTHINGS TO DOEVENTSCLC PERFORMING ARTSEVERYDAY PEOPLE
I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write articles for the Wadena Pioneer Journal weekly newspaper owned by Forum Communications Co.
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