Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5: The Musical” is a funny and energetic musical that also manages to strike a blow for female empowerment.
You could think of it as a sort of countrified “Les Mis” for the American working woman.
Centre Stage is producing the popular show about three women who take revenge on their boss: a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical office tyrant.
“9 to 5” opens March 19 for 15 performances through April 11.
The 2009 stage show, with music by Parton, is based on the 1980 movie that starred Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Forty years after the film, Americans are still talking about the gender pay gap in the workplace and sexual harassment, said director John Fagan.
“It’s a story that rings true today when you think about women getting paid 70 percent of what men earn for the same work,” Fagan said. “We’re still arguing over day care and other serious issues. And, of course, the issue of sexual harassment ties directly into the #MeToo movement.”
Parton propels the story, written by Patricia Resnick, with a buoyant score that includes the hit title song.
Fagan mentions George Bernard Shaw’s knack for presenting serious topics in satirical fashion.
“He basically said that the best way to make a point is to get people to laugh at it,” Fagan said.
The cast of 14 features three veteran Upstate actresses as the working women: Michele Colletti (Violet), DeAna Earl (Judy) and Tiffany Nave (Doralee).
“These women are knocking it out of the park,” Fagan said.
Fagan also designed the set, which includes a wall of office desks upstage and, for the floor, a big spreadsheet.
April Kibbe is the choreographer.
Janice Issa Wright is the music director.
If you go
What: “9 to 5: The Musical,” by Dolly Parton
When: 8 pm. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sundays; running March 19-April 11
Where: Centre Stage, 501 River St. in downtown Greenville
Info: 864-233-6733 or centerstage.org
The 2009 stage show of “9 to 5,” with music by Dolly Parton, is based on the 1980 hit movie that starred Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
Paul Hyde, a longtime Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Greenville Journal. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.