70’s Movies On Broadway

Ken AshfordTheatreLeave a Comment

Two to look forward to:

9to5gals200(1)  9 To 5: The MusicalCould be cute.  The Joe Mantello-directed production will begin Broadway previews March 24, 2009, and open April 23, 2009.  Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics.  Will star four-time Emmy Award winner (West Wing) and Tony Award nominee Allison Janney as Violet (I love her!), Stephanie J. Block as Judy, Megan Hilty as Dorelee, and two-time Tony Award nominee Marc Kudisch as Mr. Hart. (Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Parton and Dabney Coleman played the respective roles in the movie.)

To be honest, I’m of mixed mind about this.  The plot — women as secretaries working under under a chauvenist boss — seems a little bit dated.  Don’t get me wrong — things are not still 100% hunky-dory for women in the workplace.  But most companies have, since the 1970s [NOTE:  Yes, I know 9 To 5 was, technically not a "70’s movie" since it came out in 1980, but it had that 70’s movie mentality], come to terms with sexual harrassment and dealt with it in their policies and procedures.  I’m not sure the "9 To 5" shennanigans could go on today, and I’m not sure the musical will work as a period piece.

But we’ll see.

Dogday200(2)  Dog Day Afternoon.  Not a musical, thank goodness — this based-on-real-events story doesn’t need high-energy dance numbers ["I Wanna Go To Wyoming" and "Attica, Attica"] or soulful ballads ["I’m Dyin’ Here" and "I Like To Get Kissed (When I’m Being F*cked)"]. 

The cast of the Barefoot Theatre Company production features Jeremy Brena, Charles Casano, John Gazzale, Lydia Gladstone, John Harlacher, Betty Hudson, Kendra Leigh Landon, Ruben Luque, Victoria Malvagno, Amanda Plant, Lorriane Rodriguez, Gil Ron, Francisco Solorzano, Anika Solveig, Joli Tribuzio and Steven R. Weinblatt — i.e., people you’ve never heard of.  It opens today, but sadly, it is a limited engagement (ending on August 16).  One hopes someone will pick it up if it meets critical acclaim.