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Posted: 03/26/14


ATTA GIRL! Above, Romeo Theatre Company cast members harken back to the `70s to bring "9 to 5: The Musical" to the stage from March 27-30. From left, Avery Beadle, Olivia Brown, Nick Sienkiewicz, Olivia Belfie and Emily Gilbert. The comedy, featuring music written by Dolly Parton, follows three co-workers as they plot against their bigoted boss.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Romeo Theatre presents
'9 to 5: the Musical'

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer

      Find out what happens when three women turn fantasies about revenge on their bigoted boss into reality.
       The Romeo Theatre Company will present the Broadway production, "9 to 5: The Musical" at the David L. Olson Auditorium from March 27-30.
       Adapted from the 1980 movie of the same title, the comedy depicts three female co-workers pushed to the breaking point by their sleazy and arrogant boss, so they hatch a plan to overthrow him and take control of the company.
       Kendra Walls, theater instructor and director, said Romeo will be one of the first schools in Michigan to perform the musical, and loves that it has a strong female cast and message.
       "This is about empowering yourself, be the best that you can be and you'll get what you deserve," she said.
       The music was written by superstar Dolly Parton, who played a lead role in the film. A cast of 47 will perform 18 musical pieces like the "9 to 5" theme song and "Heart to Hart."
       "Each character has such a different type of music, it's not like it's the same style of music through the whole show," she said.
       Freshman Nick Sienkiewicz plays Franklin Hart Jr., the sexist president of Consolidated Industries. Sienkiewicz said it's fun to play a character that is different from his personality.
       "It's really getting out of your comfort zone and trying to do something you haven't tried to do before," he said.
       The new girl at the company, Judy Bernly, is played by senior Avery Beadle. She said she looks forward to performing a show that older audiences will enjoy while introducing it to younger theater-goers.
       "It's a fun change because we've gotten so used to playing to kids, but it's different and sometimes more difficult to play to adults," she said.
       Olivia Belfie, a junior, plays Doralee Rhodus, the buxom secretary to Hart who fights off his advances while befriending Bernly.
       "I'm typecast<I'm that little girl, that princess every time, and it's kind of fun to get out of that," she said.
       Since Parton played Rhodus in the movie, Belfie has worked on a southern accent for the production by studying southern-based shows.
       "It's gotten better as I went," she said. "I'm just a sweetheart from Texas."
       Rounding out the trio is Violet Newstead, a supervisor played by senior Olivia Brown. Newstead is passed on for promotions despite her knowledge, so Brown said she plays a character who triumphs over oppression.
       "We get discriminated against because we're women in the workplace," she said. "My character in the end is like `we have these other lives like taking care of the kids, and we deserve as much credit as anyone else.'"
       She expressed contentment at having the role in her last performance with Romeo, saying she will have theater in her life regardless of what she studies after graduation.
       "There is no way I could let it go this easily," she said.
       Students created an office on a turntable to allow for quick scene changes, while time-period costumes and `70s hairdos will lend to the atmosphere. The cast will work just as quickly as scene changes with multiple costumes to show the passage of time.
       "I like them because they're from back then, but there are a lot of them," Sienkiewicz said with a laugh.
       The production has been rated PG-13. Walls said there is no foul language, and actions like drinking or drug use are alluded to as opposed to being acted out.
       Showtimes are 7 p.m. March 27-28, 8 p.m. on March 29 and 2 p.m. on March 30. Tickets are $10 each for pre-sale and $12 at the door, and are available online at www.showtix4u.com or by calling (586) 281-1154.
      


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