Thursday, June 30, 2011

9 to 5: The Musical - Toronto Centre for the Arts

I have sat through a lot of terrible musicals. South Pacific, The Color Purple, Cats.  This misadventure ranks up there with the best of these.
I bought tickets to this show as all the gays love Dolly. She can sing, she has charisma and huge tits. What's not to love?
I found out as I and a half full theatre trekked all the way to North York for a night of the shows 10 day run. The lights went down and an audience of gays and old ladies settled in for a blast from the past. The show takes place in 1979, a time when women's lib was building to a crescendo. A time when all men were sexist pigs and all women hard done by. We're transported there inside the mind of Dolly Parton, who has a weird child-like view of the world. The show is all about girl power but not true girl power the women find themselves.  The power they get is from behaving like the men, using tactics on them like they used on the women.
The plot involves a group of secretaries who are unhappy with their boss and their jobs. They then poison their boss, hold him at gunpoint, tie him up, kidnap and blackmail him. Seriously. Girl power, right?!?!
This is the end of act one and during the break I tried to guess how many references the play had to castration. MANY. Too many to count. Also too many to count was inside references to the future. For example "Why is there an apple beside your typewriter? You can't type with a Mac apple silly!" Cue hilarious peels of laughter.
The cast was fairly good but too small. During the all male dance number for example I noticed about half the men had breasts. The standout was Mamie Parris (what kind of name is that?!?) as the lead Judy. She can act and sing and could step on to any Broadway stage tomorrow. The draw was Diana DeGarmo from American Idol. Her singing surprised me, she was excellent. The acting was not good though that could be due to the direction. Rather than play the character she played Dolly Parton playing a character and something got lost in the translation. Same with Dee Hoty as Lilly Tomlin as the character, it didn't work.
A distraction from life but not worth a trek north on the subway, or really across the street.

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