By Maizy Swift, Asst. Production editor
This spring, MC Players is putting on 9-5, a feisty, fun and energetic Dolly Parton musical which will be shown April 21st-23rd in Smith Auditorium.
The director of the musical, Will Erat, described the origins of the musical, and its main plot which includes women fighting sexism and misogyny within the workplace in a comedic way.
“It comes from a song by Dolly Parton, back from the 70s, called nine to five and it’s based on a movie that Dolly started along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. It’s basically about three women that work in an office in 1979,” Will said, “It highlights a lot of those differences and talks about how women were not treated right, how there was discrimination in the workplace and how it was a man’s world and they were always in charge”.
Will has high hopes for this show, as it has a promising cast. Will said,
“I mean, we have just a really amazing group of talent here, and I’m particularly excited about the three women we have playing the three main parts and just overall the cast is great”.
Will also explained the importance of this musical to him on a personal level, as he states,
“It’s special for me because this is my first time directing the musical at Manhattan College. I did a play this last fall and it was a lot of fun. Also, it gets to be in Smith’s in the auditorium. So I think we’re gonna have like, some really great dancing, some great production numbers. The sound is going to be awesome. And it’s just there’s a lot of good, good energy behind the show”.
The musical being held in Smith Auditorium means room for a bigger audience, something that hasn’t happened since COVID.
Theresa Perez, stage manager and production manager, explained the importance of this musical for MC Players and Manhattan College itself after not having a musical due to COVID,
“It’s exciting to do this show because the last musical that was held in Smith auditorium was ‘Urinetown,’ which was four years ago because Addams Family was shut down because of COVID. We didn’t do a musical my freshman year, which was spring of 2021, and then last year’s musical Cabaret was held in the box. So it’s a big, exciting show”.
Being able to do a spring musical production at MC after so many years of missing out on it due to COVID means this show is going to be a sense of normalcy and excitement for MC, along with the fact that 9-5 is an energetic musical itself. Theresa continued,
“This show has a lot of ensemble singing parts in it. It’s a very music heavy show. And honestly it has more complicated singing parts than any show we’ve done recently. It’s a very high energy, fun, silly show that’s also a little serious and it’s a nice step away from the really serious shows that we’ve been doing recently”.
Olivia Bailey, a freshman at Manhattan College is one of the main characters in the show,
“I play Judy Burnley. Her husband just left her and she just got a divorce and he cheated on her which is huge so she needs to provide for herself with income and she’s never worked before,” Olivia explained, “So she got a job at a company called consolidated, and her husband just left her so she’s insecure. She’s super, super fragile, really emotional, and then these two other women that she meets kind of help her get out of that”.
Olivia’s character Judy is one of the three main female characters of the show, and she is excited not only to play Judy for her humor, but also because this character is a bit different from those she’s played in the past, bringing something knew into the mix,
“I’m usually playing characters who are a little more headstrong than Judy is, so I’m trying to find that emotional connection to her where I can get a little insecurity to the front for her since she is a more fragile character”.
There are numerous reasons as to why 9-5 is such an entertaining show, however Olivia highlights a couple reasons why MC students should definitely attend,
“It is a Dolly Parton musical, so that’s number one because Dolly is Queen, which is cool because Nine to Five is one of the most famous songs ever. So everybody knows that regardless of whether or not you know the words you know the tune. Also, a shout out to the seniors because this is their last show and I think it’s really going to be a good one. We’ve only just started rehearsals, but there’s times where we’ve done them and it really feels really good”.
With a final note, Will said,
“Please come see us, we want to be sold out every night. We have four shows so I’m just really excited to hopefully have a lot of people on campus come out and you will have a good time I guarantee it”.
Tickets to 9-5 will be available on the MC Players website before the show, so be sure to attend and enjoy this trip back to 1979 and a sense of comedy, womanhood and fun.