By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – After clocking several hours at day jobs, members of the Regatta Players are gladly working overtime. They’re rehearsing “9 to 5: the Musical” to be presented Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., from Aug. 5 to 14, at Southgate at Shrewsbury’s Flanagan Theater, located at 30 Julio Dr.
Set in 1979, the musical comedy tells the story of three unappreciated secretaries conspiring to take control of their company. Even in a male-dominated workplace, these strong-minded women discover there’s nothing they can’t accomplish.
Audiences might be surprised hearing the show’s rendition of the popular song “9 to 5” and others written by Dolly Parton, noted Bonnie L. Narcisi, music director.
“The music is a lot more intricate that you would have expected,” she said. “The ‘9 to 5’ song is well-developed for the show. It’s more than what you hear on the radio. The same as the show’s storyline being about women should get equal pay and could be a CEO, a woman like Dolly Parton is able to write all the show’s music and be really successful.”
Directing the musical is Kira Cowan Troilo. She appreciates working with a script that’s relatable to everyone involved.
“I love shows with a balance between fun and relevance,” she said. “Our cast knows what it’s like to work 9 to 5. That’s something the audience can relate to as well. It’s an extremely relatable show for everyone – men and women.”
Dan Monopoli is playing the office workers’ chauvinistic boss Franklin Hart, described in the script as “a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” He was cast against type, according to the director.
“Dan is a sweetheart,” she proclaimed. “Sometimes the nice guys play the best villain. Hart is an important obstacle for these women and Dan does a really great job with it.”
Tessa Newell is portraying Hart’s personal secretary Doralee, a spirited country gal.
“Playing Doralee is a little bit out of Tessa’s comfort zone, so that’s a lot of fun,” Cowan Troilo said. “She really gets the Dolly Parton aspect of the role.”
New to the workforce is Judy, recently divorced after her husband cheated with his younger secretary. Portraying Judy, Bri Ryder sings “Get Out and Stay Out.”
“It’s the song every woman wants to sing to their ex,” Cowan Troilo explained. “Bri’s powerhouse vocals really shine.”
Meanwhile, senior office supervisor Violet gets overlooked for promotions. Playing Violet is Christina Pierro.
“Christina brings strength to this role with just the right amount of vulnerability,” Cowan Troilo said.
The only female character fond of Hart is the office busybody Roz, played by Libby Boland.
“Libby is hysterically funny,” Cowan Troilo raved. “She brings a great comedic quirkiness to the character.”
Andrew Morin is portraying Joe, a charming accountant who is interested in Violet. The director recognizes similar personality traits shared by the actor and character.
“Each is a very sweet, sincere guy,” she noted.
Redefining the theatrical term “triple threat,” actress-singer-dancer Katie Monopoli is playing the character Maria, as well as assistant directing and choreographing.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are Barbara Andreano, Frank Andreano, Sam Asuque, Kristl Courtemanche, Katie Doe, Zack Fink, Christine Guertin, Ed Lindem, Justin Smith, Robyn Spain and Beth Teague. The production team also includes Sandra Weed, producer; and Joanne Smith, production manager.
Tickets are $15 general admission; $12 students and seniors. Email [email protected] or call 508-925-0583 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket requests must include name, and the number of adult and/or student/senior tickets. Promotional material notes, “This show contains strong language and adult content.” For more information, visit regattaplayers.com.