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Ahmanson Debuts '9 to 5'

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, April 04, 2008, at 01:17PM
Music Center Ed Fuentes

Downtown's Music Center complex, set on Bunker Hill.

As part of the redesign for blogdowntown, Arts and Culture Editor is the heady title Mr. Richardson has bestowed upon this contributor. The position conjures up the image of a writer whipping a smart looking scarf around his neck, lighting a cigarette, filling a snifter with a fine brandy, and proceeding to sit down and stroke his graying beard to ponder Downtown’s place as a local and national cultural center.

We open the curtain for blogdowntown’s Arts and Culture district:

'9 to 5' has been transformed into a new musical that will have its world premiere at Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre in 2008. With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, the setting will remain 1980, giving the musical version of the comedy film retro references in a post-feminist pre-Reagan world without fax or cells––an modern urban period piece with new tunes.

The story is the same. According to press notes, the efficient office manager Violet Newstead, played by Allison Janney ("The West Wing") joins fellow co-workers –– divorced and returning to the workforce Judy Bernly, played by Stephanie J. Block (Wicked) and sexy until distracting executive secretary Doralee Rhodes, played by Megan Hilty (Wicked)–– to turn the tables on "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot" boss Franklin Hart Jr., who will be played by two-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch (The Apple Tree).

Variety reports that CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie wants to show how the Ahmanson Theatre is attractive for the development of large-scale new musicals because of CTG’s infrastructure and subscriber base, and "the physical components and capabilities of the Ahmanson itself.” The '9 to 5' cast reprises roles from New York readings held last June.

CTG will present 9 to 5 September 3 through October 19, 2008, as the first production in the Ahmanson's 2008-2009 season. Music and Lyics by Dolly Parton. Book by Patricia Resnick. Directed by Joe Mantello.

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