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Missouri State University Theatre & Dance presents '9 to 5: The Musical'

Courtesy Missouri State University Theatre & Dance

The stage musical version of the hit 1980 movie comedy concludes this semester's productions by Missouri State's Theatre and Dance department.

Missouri State University Theatre and Dance will present "9 to 5 the Musical" on the stage of Coger Theatre November 30 through December 4.

Among the most popular film comedies of the past 40 years (actually 43... has it been that long?) is "9 to 5," the story of three overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated office workers who manage to exact revenge on their "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss.

Dolly Parton, who played Doralee in the film (alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda), also wrote the movie's famous theme song. Nearly 30 years later, Parton wrote music and lyrics for this stage musical version of the movie, to a book by Patricia Resnick, one of "9 to 5's" original screenwriters.

In order to expand the 90-minute film into a two-hour-plus stage musical, a few changes and additions had to be made. In fact, the version of the show MSU Theatre & Dance will present is the revised version that was used on the national tour following the Broadway run of "9 to 5."

One of the changes for the stage production was the creation of a character known as "Cathy, the Office Gossip." According to the Missouri State student actor portraying her, Jayla Glynn, Cathy is a composite of several secondary office personnel from the movie. The faculty director of MSU's production, Sarah Wilcoxon, created some extra comedic stage business for Jayla to emphasize the "gossipy" nature of Cathy.

Glynn said, "Everyone is working on their office work and doing their job, and I'm just kind of watching everything happen, and... not doing my work!"

The main part of the story, Glynn said, traces "the arc of the friendship" of Violet, Judy and Doralee, "and how they team together as women to fight the patriarchy, and fight for justice in the workplace."

Sadly, the movie hasn't aged as much as we might like. "We've had some cool conversations about all the different topics that come up in the show," Glynn said. "We're able to use our knowledge of what happened in 1980 versus what's still happening today in 2023."

Performances of "9 to 5" in Coger Theatre are scheduled Thursday through Saturday, November 30, December 1 and 2, all at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 3 at 2:30 p.m.; and Monday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 and $24. For information, call the Missouri State University ticket office at 417-836-7678, or visit theatreanddance.missouristate.edu, and click on "Productions."

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning Arts News. Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Ozzie Award in 2006.