Last night we had the pleasure to see 9 to 5: The Musical at the Athens Theater in downtown DeLand. The show opened on February 21 and runs through March 15 with shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and a matinee on Sunday. It was, as usual, a great show in our little town.
In the late 70’s, Jane Fonda pitched the idea for 9 to 5 to Hollywood but was met with some resistance – Jane wanted to make it a drama. Feeling like it would be too “preachy,” and with the introduction of her friend Lily Tomlin into the mix, the decision was made to make the story into a comedy. Add Dolly Parton in her first film role, and the twentieth-highest-grossing-comedy movie was born.
Released in 1980, it spawned a successful TV series of the same name in 1982, running for five seasons. The musical opened on Broadway in 2009 with new songs written by Dolly Parton. It ran on Broadway for 148 performances, and is still a favorite internationally, running today in London’s West End and in regional productions like ours.
The plot is very “’80’s” in which three women work in an office environment at Consolidated Industries. The boss, Franklin Hart, Jr., is a horrible CEO who ticks all the boxes in the “good ol’ boys” club. He degrades the “girls” who work for him, refuses to promote them, and spreads rumors about them that are, well, just not true. In all, a terrible male human. So taking advantage of some happenstance, the “girls” hatch a plot to get back at him, which involves hostage-taking and such things as suspending him from a garage-door opener. In the end, of course, the savvy women win out, but not without some great songs and complex choreography along the way.
This show was part of the 2019-20 Athens Theater season that started back in August with The Producers and ends with Mary Poppins on May 10. (Mary will actually fly on stage!) Tickets are very inexpensive with pricing from $11 to $29 per show, and a discount when purchasing season tickets.
The 2020-21 season starts with Momma Mia opening on July 17, and includes Clue: The Musical; Elf; Shrek, The Musical; The Fantasticks, and ends with the April-May showing of Chicago. Season ticket holders can renew their tickets now, with new season tickets on sale in the beginning of March.
It is a wonderful thing to have such a great place here in DeLand – close, inexpensive, but with great shows. The Athens, a restored 1922 Vaudeville Showplace, also hosts other one-night shows including many great tribute band concerts mimicking such acts as ABBA, McCartney, Kiss, the Eagles, Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, and others. Also inexpensive, these shows are a favorite here at InspiringLifeOver50.com. Check out their schedule of events at AthensDeland.com.
When “going to the Theater” in DeLand, we also take advantage of the great restaurants downtown, and may even stop by one of the wine bars after the show. All within walking distance.
DeLand is a great place to live.