Friday, 29 July 2022

Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 The Musical Theatre Review

Many of us have seen the 1980's original 9 to 5 movie based on the book by author, Patricia Resnik. The book was inspired by Jane Fonda who stated in an interview that she would like to make a comedy movie about secretaries in an office, and that she wanted Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin cast in the top roles alongside her. 

"Well, I tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
Yawn and stretch and try to come to life
Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping
Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving
They just use your mind, and they never give you credit
It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it
Working 9 to 5, you've got passion and a vision
'Cause it's hustlin' time, a whole new way to make a livin'
Gonna change your life, do somethin' that gives it meanin'
With a website that is worthy of your dreamin'."

Excerpt of lyrics from Dolly Parton's 9-5 The Musical title song.
All songs and lyrics written by Dolly Parton herself.

Recently this show opened in Melbourne, we went along on opening night to see the greatness that is the Dolly Parton presents 9-5 The Musical. This show is funny, colourful, upbeat and ripe with a good deal of sexism and antics that were rife in the 1980's. The modern day relevance is really quite extraordinary because much of this behaviour directed towards women is still ongoing today. 
For example, women are yet to achieve equal pay in 2022!

The main cast are Casey Donovan as Judy Bernley (above left) - the new secretary in the office. Fabulous and famous Marina Prior plays Violet Newstead, (centre), and Doralee Rhodes, (Dolly Parton's own character), is played by Erin Clare. Character Roz Keith is played by renowned actor, singer and dancer, Caroline O'Connor. There are pre-recorded extracts featuring Dolly Parton herself. Effervescent Dolly narrates and even sings a little of the title song on-screen in this live show. 

Below, the main cast perform with the ensemble cast in exciting and powerful song and dance scenes. If only going to work was actually like this! Bright - with singing and dancing and strong pitch-perfect voices inviting lots of laughs and enjoyment. 

The audience really interacts with the script in this show - the misogyny, the expectations, sexism, the acting and its political stance for women truly resonates still, to this day. The comedy is great as was the experience of a return of live theatre, especially after the long wait in Melbourne following a couple of years of drawn-out lockdowns. Theatre life is finally back so don't miss this!

Seasoned actress Caroline O'Conner stars as Roz Keith, who has an unrequited crush on her sexist boss, Franklin Heart Jnr, (played by Eddie Perfect). He is absolutely disinterested in her. Roz is a bit of a sex addict towards him however and lusts after her boss with some stellar comic scenes that induce much laughter and applause from the audience. 

I have seen Caroline O'Connor on stage many times over the years and I think she is a knockout amazing performer in every role she plays. 

MELBOURNE SEASON DETAILS Venue State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne Season To 17 September. Performance Times Wed -Thurs 7pm, Fri-Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm Prices: From $69.00 (Transaction fees apply) Bookings: or phone 1300 182 183 Groups 8+ call 1300 889 278 .

ADELAIDE SEASON DETAILS Venue Festival Theatre Season From 8 October Performance Times Wed 6:30pm, Thurs-Sat 7.30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1pm & 6pm Prices: From $69.00 (Transaction fees apply) Bookings: or phone 131 246 Groups 8+ 08 8205 2220

State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne

Until September 18, 2022.

Tickets and information from

*Media images supplied and are protected via ©

Images by *1 David Hooley ©, *2 Stacie Huckeba © (Dolly Parton portrait.)

 and *3, Peter Brew-Bevan. ©

Go see Dolly Parton Presents 9-5 The Musical

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