Theatre Mirror Reviews - "9 TO 5"

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9 TO 5

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The last main stage show this season at Little Theatre of Fall River is"9 TO 5", the musical." Pushed to the boiling point in 1979, 3 female co-workers concoct a plan to get even with their sexist, lying boss. They are just a step on the bossman's ladder and their plan to get even with him is the story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era, when three unlikely friends conspire to take control of the company and learn there is nothing they can't do, even in a man's world. When their plan spins wildly out of control the situation becomes hilarious especially in the dope smoking segment. Based on the hit 1980 movie with music by Dolly Parton. It features not only the blockbuster title song but a score that mixes Broadway and pop. Aaron Gendreau Visco does a terrific job as the director with incredible music direction by Bobby Perry and choreography by Nina Calvo and Rayline Medina to bring this high energy crowd pleasing musical to life. Their combined expertise wins the cast a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the show.

Aaron brings out the comic and dramatic moments splendidly. Dan Snizek conducts a terrific 9 piece orchestra while the incredible dance numbers by Nina and Rayline are breathtaking and excellently executed. Erica Borges Vitelli leads the cast as Violet and she is astonishing in this role. Her songs include "Around Here" where she introduces Judy to the business world, her solo number "Potion Notion" where she fantasizes killing Hart by poisoning him, The dope smoking scene stops the show with hilarity as each of the women plot to kill Hart. Erica's show stopping number is "One of the Boys'' with superb singing and dancing by her and the male chorus. This song is reminiscent of "Roxie" from "Chicago." Her romantic ballad, "Let Love Grow" occurs when Violet finally realizes it's time to let the memory of her husband go and fall in love with Joe at last. Joe is excellently played by Chris Benevides who displays his strong singing voice in this ballad and becomes enamored of Violet and helps her defeat Mr. Hart. Erica's songs with the other girls include "9 to 5", "I Just Might", "Joy to the Girls", "Change It" and"Shine Like the Sun" when they decide to take charge of their lives by imprisoning Hart which is a rousing closer to Act 1.

The other two leading ladies are just as terrific as Erica. Shandy Monte Raposa plays Judy Bernley. She delivers a strong sympathetic performance in this role, making the audience root for her to succeed at her new job. Her songs include "Dance of Death" where she fantasizes killing Hart by stomping him to death with her stilettos. Shandy stops the show with her eleventh hour number, "Get Out and Stay Out." Her powerhouse voice soars as she finally kicks her cheating ex-husband, Dick to the curb. Kelsie Brejcha, a gorgeous gal wears a blonde wig to play Doralee and is marvelous in this role. She captures the essence of this sexy as well as her naivete wonderfully. Her one liners are hilarious including one that she will make Hart go from a rooster to a hen by shooting off his privates. Kelsie's songs include the touching "Backwoods Barbie" about being a pretty face and nothing more as well as her hilarious fantasy song, "Cowgirl's Revenge" where she is a famous rodeo star. She also does a marvelous job singing the lead in "Shine Like the Sun'' with the other girls.

The villain of this show is the head honcho, Mr. Hart. Joey Raposa, Shandy's real life husband, is a slimy, evil horror as Franklin Hart Jr. He does a splendid job as this boss from hell. Joey as this domineering, lecherous man displays his strong voice in "Here for You" where Hart spreads the rumor he had an affair with Doralee. Hart receives his comeuppance when she ties him up in his office after his insulting behavior. Joey is hilarious in the fake death segments, too. The lovesick administrative assistant is wonderfully played by Lisa Huntington. Roz is a dragon lady who spies on all the workers for Mr. Hart. sings "Heart to Hart" where she yearns to have a relationship with her boss, doing a striptease type dance. This song and dance stop the show with hilarity with chorus girls dressed up like Roz. She also sings "5 to 9", where she thinks Hart doesn't like her anymore and that the time she isn't at work is lonely and boring. Kudos to the cast and crew on doing a fabulous job with this contemporary musical. The show is accompanied by a video of Dolly Parton narrating the show with some hilarious commentary along the way. So be sure to catch "9 to 5" at Little Theatre of Fall River before time runs out. It is a fun filled musical treat for one and all.

9 TO 5, THE MUSICAL (18 to 21 May)
Little Theatre of Fall River, BCC, 777 Elsbree St, Fall River, MA
1(508)675-1852 or

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