9 to 5 The Musical opens at Center for the Arts

9 to 5 The Musical opens Friday at the USCB Center for the ArtsBy Libby Ricardo | Those who know me well know that one of my most prized possessions is in fact my Dollywood Season Pass.  I keep it neatly tucked in my wallet, knowing that the chances of an impromptu Tennessee getaway are as unlikely as a snowy day in August.  It doesn’t matter.  My love for Dolly supersedes the need to consolidate space and make room for other essentials like my ID and insurance card.

I have loved Dolly Parton for as long as I can remember.  I love her music, her humor and most of all, her defiance.  I adore that she refused to be boxed into any one category or container as a performer.  I am tickled by her ambivalence to constant denigration about her devotion and adherence to her personal pursuit of the glamorous.  I am inspired by her business savvy, and I am uplifted by her philanthropy, especially her work on the Imagination Library.  She is, simply put, my hero.

When I was approached about directing the Beaufort Theatre Company season opener, 9 to 5 The Musical, I was thrilled to accept.  What better material could there be for a fan?

My enthusiasm was only heightened after auditions, having found that the Beaufort community provided the perfect choices for casting.

Elaine Lake lends her terrific voice and earnest nature to the straight-shooting Doralee Rhodes.  With spunk, humor, and passion, Velma Polk is sure to delight as the irascible Roz Keith.  Penney Smith, the last third of the Sweetgrass Angels, dazzles as Violet Newstead.  And, of course, who could possibly play the devious boss, Mr. Hart, but Brad Ballington?  I had the good fortune of working with Brad on my first show with BTC, Grease, and he is, without a doubt, one of the most hilarious and irreverent actors I have ever known.  I get to spend rehearsals playing with this talented group of performers, tackling material by the queen of country.

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Best of all, beginning September 9th, I finally get to open the doors and share this small bit of paradise with my community.

9 to 5 cast members Elaine Lake and Brad Ballington

9 to 5 cast members Elaine Lake and Brad Ballington

It might be easy to regard 9 to 5 as simple comedic fluff, but that would be an oversight.  The themes of this musical adapted from the 1980 film starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton are still very much prevalent in our contemporary culture.  When faced with adversity, it seems the easiest choice is to fend for ourselves, and yet, it is in our communal efforts that the greatest progress is achieved.

Adoring Dolly Parton is not a requisite for enjoying this fun-filled musical.  Although with numbers like Backwoods Barbie, it certainly wouldn’t hurt.  Ultimately, the audience is sure to be delighted by the incredible talent that resides right here in our backyard.

9 to 5 opens at the USCB Center for the Arts at 805 Carteret Street on September 9th and continues with performances on the 11th, 16th, 17th, and 18th. Tickets can be purchased in advance online, by phone, and at the box office. For more information, visit www.uscbcenterforthearts.com or call 843-521-4145.

9 to 5 The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnik, is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019; Tel: 212-541-4684; Fax: 212-397-4684; www.MTIshows.com.

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