9 to 5 The Musical Melbourne Review

9 to 5 The Musical, now showing at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, is a happy blast from the past. The film of the same name came out in 1981, and the musical has embraced and been true to the original 1980s vibe.

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9 to 5 the Musical Melbourne Review
Image: the ensemble, credit: David Hooley

The show opens with a recording of the vivacious Dolly Parton introducing the characters, and the soundtrack of Working 9 to 5 sets the upbeat tone for this feel-good musical.

9 to 5 the Musical Melbourne Review
Image: Casey Donovan, Marina Prior, Erin Clare, credit: David Hooley

The story of three women, the talented Violet Newstead (Zoe Coppinger), who works hard and is in line for promotion only to be passed-over for a less qualified younger man she trained and mentored. Judy Bernly (Casey Donovan), a young woman dumped by her husband for his younger secretary, trying to find herself as a single woman and employee for the first time. Doralee Rhodes (Erin Clare), the beautiful country gal who is lusted after by Franklin Hart Jnr (Eddie Perfect), the sleezy, sexist, credit-taking manager. And, of course the unexpected Roz Keith (Caroline O’Connor), the gorgeous and hilarious older woman with an unrequited crush on Franklin.

Completing the cast are Lily Baulderstone, Mia Dabkowski-Chandler, Ben Gillespie, Emma Hawthorne, James Haxby, Emma Johns, Jay Johns, Ethan Jones, Sarah Krndija, Antonia Marr, Josh Mulheran, Tom New, Jake O’Brien, Matthew Prime, Jackson Reedman, Jordan Tomljenovic and Jessica Vellucci.

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9 to 5 the Musical Melbourne Review
Image: Casey Donovan, Marina Prior, Erin Clare, credit: David Hooley

Zoe Coppinger, who replaced Marina Prior on the night, did an outstanding job playing Violet Newstead and Casey Donovan, who played Judy Bernly, as always captivated the audience with her powerhouse vocals. Erin Clare, who played Doralee Rhodes, channels Dolly Parton perfectly.

9 to 5 the Musical Melbourne Review
Image: Caroline O'Connor and Eddie Perfect, credit: David Hooley

The story navigates topics of equality, highlighting the disparity in career opportunity, wage differences, sexism and stereotypes. It is hard to imagine tackling these challenging topics in a musical while remaining genuinely upbeat, comical and fun, but this production manages it and leaves you with a smile.

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9 to 5 the Musical Melbourne Review
Image: Marina Prior and the ensemble, credit: David Hooley

A great show to get together with some friends to see. It will leave you smiling and happy that women’s rights have improved (some way to go) in the last 40 years.

9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL
Date: on until 18 September 2022
Time: Wed – Thur 7pm, Fri – Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm
Location: State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
Price: from $69

More information

Cover image: Casey Donovan, Marina Prior, Erin Clare and the ensemble, credit: David Hooley

We try our best to provide accurate information on kid-friendly events around Victoria but do recommend parents check details directly to confirm dates, times, prices as some details may be subject to change.

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