RCMPI puts on a “Dolly” good show
For their Spring 2017 season, Royal City Musical Productions Inc. (RCMPI) took the audience back to the year 1979 with their production of 9 to 5 The Musical. The ambitious cast of 28 and five-piece band took the stage in the Co-operators Hall at the River Run Centre from April 27 to 30.
The musical remains faithful to the plot of the 1980 film, 9 to 5, which explores sexism in the workplace and celebrates the value of female friendship, all the while maintaining a sharp sense of humour.
An unlikely trio of friends—Violet, Judy, and Doralee—team up to turn the tables on their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” of a boss, Franklin Hart (portrayed by Pete Strain).
The trio’s characters are representations of feminist values. Doralee, portrayed by Olivia Mann, shows that women should be valued for more than their appearance. Judy, portrayed by Alee Wiens, becomes successful after gaining independence from her husband. And Violet, portrayed by Julie Van Duzen, demonstrates that working hard should lead to a deserved promotion.
Unfortunately, topics that were explored in the show such as the unfair wage gap between genders and the difficulty for women to break the glass ceiling still remain relevant today, decades after the show was written.
Mann, who portrayed Doralee in the RCMPI production, spoke to The Ontarion about her character.
“It shows that you can get married, take your husband’s last name, and still be a feminist,” Mann commented.
As a not-for-profit community musical theatre group, RCMPI requires the assistance of many devoted volunteers. Rehearsals for the show ran twice weekly back in January and picked up to three times a week as show week approached.
Production coordinator Holly Reid has been involved both on and offstage with the company for at least six years.
Reid spoke to The Ontarion about the greatest production challenge for 9 to 5 The Musical.
This production of 9 to 5 The Musical appeared to resound deeply with the audience. The moments when Doralee, Judy, and Violet got their revenge on Hart were met with loud cheers and applause. The musical made it clear that even though we are no longer living in the days of 9 to 5, sexism in the workplace is still an issue and it’s just as unacceptable today as it was back in 1979. The clunky typewriters and xerox machines may be gone but the glass ceiling must still be shattered.
Photos by Dana Bellamy/The Ontarion.