9 to 5: The Musical by Bordentown Regional High School in Bordentown, NJ
March 3, 2020
Review submitted by Rivkah Wyner of Jack M Barrack Hebrew Academy
The cast of 9 to 5: The Musical at Bordentown Regional High School worked as hard from 7:30 to 9:30 to put on this exciting production as the hardworking office staff of Consolidated Industries do from 9am to 5pm every single day.
9 to 5: The Musical is based on the 1980 movie by the same name with book and lyrics written by Dolly Parton. The show is set in 1979 around the mundane lives of the employees at Consolidated Industries who frustratingly work at the beck and call of their heartless CEO, Mr. Hart. But the office is in for a real sweet change when the sassy and determined Violet, the misunderstood country gal Doralee, and the nervously enthusiastic Judy decide that they have had enough.
Overall, Bordentown put their best foot forward to bring this spunky musical to life. The three leading ladies were the personality and the backbone of the production, effectively conveying their characters’ struggles, strength, and growth as they fought for the rights and dignity of women in the workplace.
The strong female leads, Violet, Doralee, and Judy, performed by Gabrielle Takacs, Meah Jones, and Kayla Downing respectively, played off each other beautifully in addition to depicting their own individual personalities. In the role of Violet, Takacs effectively embodied her character’s attitude and diligent work ethic. She acted with poise, commanding the stage as excellently as she ran the office. Jones gave an unbelievably convincing portrayal of the backwards Barbie, southern Doralee. Her accent was impeccable, not to mention her killer vocal cords. To complete this dazzling trio was Downing, in the role of Judy, who wowed the audience with her grasp on her character’s nervous chatter and amusing temperament.
Though he was stuck playing the sexist, egotistical, bigot, Lucas Bergan was still lovable in his humorous performance of Mr. Hart. But it was Gabriel Planas Borgstrom in the role of Joe that ultimately won the heart of the audience (and Violet) in his convincing portrayal of his sweet character. Supporting these fan favorites and the leading ladies was a dedicated ensemble. Most notable was their backup dancing and singing in the jazzy number, “One of the Boys”, in which their energy was at its height.
Although the sound was sometimes quiet or delayed, Kyle Meier, Makayla Coleman, and Zach Ward put forth their best effort to tackle the difficult task of amplifying such a large cast. The diligent stage crew executed their many scene changes with ease, led efficiently by stage managers Riddhi Gupta, Alison Wall, and Lydia Braasch.
In approaching this plot twisting, exhilarating musical, the cast and crew of Bordentown’s 9 to 5: The Musical put on a wholehearted performance to create this successful production.
Review submitted by Aurelle Odhner of Academy of the New Church
“Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition…” The upbeat lyrics of Dolly Parton rang through the auditorium as the committed cast and crew of Bordentown Regional High School payed tribute to the American classic, 9 to 5: The Musical.
Based on the 1980 comedy of the same name, this musical combines Patricia Resnick’s story with uplifting songs by Dolly Parton. The tale follows three working women as they navigate the myriad obstacles they face from their “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot” boss, each one suffering from his selfishness in different ways. By banding together, they discover they can overcome even the most overwhelming of challenges and turn their workplace into a forward-thinking environment for growth, rather than a place to put up with from 9 to 5.
Bordentown Regional High School shone with a collection of strong vocalists that sang beautifully enough that would make Dolly Parton herself proud. The genuine friendship between the three empowering female leads reminded the audience that, although the events of the story may have been too wild to be true, the underlying message of effecting change through cooperation and connection is applicable in any era.
Filling the role originally created for Dolly Parton, Meah Jones compellingly played Doralee, a Texan country girl who finds herself stigmatized in the office for her looks. Her vocal ornamentation and consistent accent made her a convincing successor to the famous country singer. An equally remarkable performance was given by Gabrielle Takacs, who played the hardworking and headstrong senior manager, Violet, with self-confidence and emphatic expression. Kayla Downing also shone as Judy, the new girl at the office struggling to emotionally recover after her unfaithful husband leaves her. Her hysterical tears and determined resolve brought depth to this dynamic character.
Other standouts among the cast included Lucas Bergen as Franklin Hart, whose strong, confident voice reflected all the entitlement of his dominating character. His devoted assistant Roz, played by Lauren Redwood, made her presence known with comically dramatic movements and an impeccably maintained character.
Supporting the cast was a dedicated stage crew who moved cumbersome set pieces silently and efficiently and recovered well when challenges arose. The sound team also worked hard to balance eighteen body microphones as soloists came on and off and competed with a full orchestra.
The cast and crew of Bordentown Regional High School came together to deliver a powerful message about equality and teamwork, lending their united voices to let their message shine like the sun.