Secretary's Day: Marriott stage promoting new run of musical '9 to 5'

2013-08-09T00:00:00Z Secretary's Day: Marriott stage promoting new run of musical '9 to 5'By Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Actress Susan Moniz isn't worried about whether or not she has to wear glasses as her bookish secretary character Judy Bernly, for her role in the new production of "9 to 5, The Musical" opening Wednesday at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Ill.

"It's mostly up to what works best as determined by the wardrobe and costume staff," said Moniz, whose character was played by a bespeckled Jane Fonda in the 1980 film.

"As an actress, playing a character who wears glasses can change an approach to scenes and facial expressions. But glasses can also be very effective to use for gestures and mannerisms. So there are definitely pros and cons."

Running through Oct. 13 and based on the smash movie that also starred Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin, the stage musical incarnation created by Parton for Broadway in 2009 once again shares the funny story of office friendship and boss revenge from the era before the title of secretary transitioned to today's work world of "administrative assistants."

The musical features the blockbuster title song plus what's billed as "a jubilant Tony Award-nominated score" by multi Grammy Award-winner Parton and a book by original screenwriter Patricia Resnick.

The Marriott Theatre production is directed by 11 time Jeff Award-winner David H. Bell with choreography by Matt Raftery.

Starring with Moniz in "9 to 5, The Musical" is Kelli Cramer in the Lily Tomlin role of Violet Newstead and Alexandra Palkovic as Doralee Rhodes, the part played by Parton in the film. Actor James Moye plays Franklin Hart, Jr., the nasty boss who becomes the office target for employees ready for a fair and balanced workplace.

The cast of "9 to 5, The Musical" also includes Marya Grandy as nosy co-worker Roz Keith and Ben Jacoby as Joe, with Roger Anderson as Tinsworthy.

"I watched the film version just recently with my daughter, since I hadn't seen it in some time and I like that the stage musical telling keeps the setting still in 1980, during the time of typewriters and before cell phones, emails and computers," Moniz said.

"There's really almost a quality and charm about it that is similar to watching the TV series 'Mad Men,' even though that show is set in an even earlier time period."

Lead Artistic Director Aaron Thielen heads the Artistic Team for "9 to 5, The Musical" with Music Direction by Ryan T. Nelson. The design team includes set design by Tom Ryan, retro costume design by Nancy Missimi and lighting design by Jesse Klug, while the click-clacking typewriters are courtesy of sound design by Bob Gilmartin and vintage props design are by Sally Weiss. Patti Garwood conducts the Marriott Theatre Orchestra.

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