River’s Edge Players working musically ‘9 to 5’
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – After clocking full days at their jobs, members of the River’s Edge Players (REP) have been working overtime as they report to evening rehearsals for “9 to 5: the Musical,” to be presented Friday, July 13, and Saturdays, July 14 and 21, at 7:30 p.m. at Hudson High School Auditorium. Set in 1979, the musical comedy tells the story of three unappreciated secretaries who conspire to take control of their company. Even in a male-dominated office bullpen, these strong-minded women discover there’s nothing they can’t accomplish.
The cast features over 30 performers from 14 communities including Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough and Westborough. Directing and choreographing the show is Sarah Worrest of Hudson, who returned to the local theater scene after studying at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This marks the seventh musical she’s directed with REP, a program of the Arts Alliance.
“The music is phenomenal,” she said. “We’re having a really good time with this great music that Dolly Parton wrote to turn a hit song into a whole musical.”
In the role of the chauvinistic boss, Mr. Hart, Worrest cast Ted Frumkin, of Westborough, who also performs with the Westborough Players’ Club.
“Ted actually works a nine-to-five corporate job and I think this show is sort of a release for him,” Worrest said. “He would never act like this character in his job, but it’s so much fun for him to play the fantasy onstage.”
Frumkin acknowledged there are similarities and differences between him and the character.
“There are certain aspects of the role that are natural for me,” he explained. “I manage a team of people, just as he does. But the show is set in 1979. In today’s business world, we don’t have secretaries. I don’t have an assistant; I type my own correspondence and emails.”
Noting another difference, Frumkin quoted the script’s character description.
“I don’t believe I’m ‘a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,’” he said.
“I’m having the most fun with the fantasy sequences,” he added. “They’re big song-and-dance numbers with the three female leads. The first one, Judy shoots me; the second one, Doralee hogties me; and the third one, Violet poisons me. So I die three times onstage.”
Portraying Violet, the department supervisor, is Nicole Hatlevig. Like Frumkin, she also has performed with Westborough Players’ Club, as well as the nearby Sudbury Savoyards. She sees mostly similarities between herself and her character.
“I’ve never been passed over for a promotion, but we both like to be in charge,” she said confidently. “We both like to tell people what to do, and we know how to get things done.”
Her favorite song in the show is “I Just Might,” which she sings with the other two female leads.
“It shows the individual strength in each of the characters,” she said of the lyrics. “They each have a problem that isn’t similar to one another, but they have that in common, and they will persevere and make it.”
Cast in the comical role of a constantly intoxicated secretary named Margaret is Karen Bishop of Marlborough, appearing in her third musical with REP.
“This role is the farthest of who I really am,” said Bishop, who actually works as a financial planning associate.
Although Bishop insists she’s unlike her character, she admitted she’s enjoying her unusual stage entrance.
“I come flying out onstage in a rolling office chair,” she relayed with a laugh.
Worrest added, “It’s a fun show with strong female characters.”
Tickets will be available at the door. Discounted advance tickets are offered by calling 978-562-1646 or online at www.upwitharts.org.
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