The national tour ofÂ ”9 to 5: The Musical” is like a brilliantÂ CEO without a business plan…destined to struggle, if not fail.
Dallas Summer Musicals’ current offering through May 29Â at Dallas’ Music Hall at Fair Park is the stage version based on the film featuring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The hook then and nowÂ is Parton’s catchy hit of the same name, but it’s simplyÂ not enough to wrap a musical around.
The touring production features some outstanding vocal performers. Tony-nominated Dee Hoty takes the lead playing Violet, and she’s joined by Broadway veteran Mamie ParrisÂ as Judy andÂ ”American Idol” finalist Diana Degamo, platinum wig andÂ more,Â in the Dolly Parton role. They ably, energetically and enthusiasticallyÂ handle all the vocal demands and truly do the bestÂ they can with the mediocreÂ script, but it’s just not enough.
For a while, it’s fun to take a trip back to a time of carbon paper, afros, typewriters andÂ broad-shouldered jackets. But the show can’t decide if it wants toÂ make social commentary on the times, a musical farce or a stageÂ version of an old movie.
Too many elements just don’t pull together. AÂ larger-than-life video ofÂ Dolly PartonÂ weirdly welcomes the audience in her folksy, gee-whiz manner, and the villain is leftÂ awkwardly dangling at one point in slapstick that doesn’t work. The constant scene changes, involving the castÂ pushing and pulling desks, just get plain tiresome.
This show, like an office worker who’s been out performed by other workers,Â needs a pink slip.