|Skylar Ryan, Brandi Bigley, and Harley Barton|
Photo by Heather Butcher
"The musical 9 to 5, which is based on the 1980 film comedy, is a quirky comic gem that follows three underpaid and underappreciated working women who get revenge on their "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" of a boss. Scottsdale Desert Stages production, while a bit bare bones, features talented leads and spirited direction that instill plenty of heart within the humorous show....
Director/choreographer Cambrian James provides a fast pace and fun movement, and has found a cast that deliver with ease just about every comic bit as well as the several uplifting moments in Resnick's book. ..While the set design is minimal, Aurelie Flores' costumes and James' wig designs bring back the horrifying looks of the '80s with big hair and loud prints adding to the humor of the show. The three leads all create believable three-dimensional characters. Brandi Bigley, Harley Barton, and Skylar Ryan as Violet, Judy, and Doralee are all excellent...Bigley....interjects a realistic sense of frustration under Violet's professional demeanor that comes with the territory of being passed over for promotions, because she is a woman, when she knows she can do a better job than the man who got promoted. Bigley also adds plenty of zaniness and a big dose of fun to the part, with good comic timing, especially when Violet believes she's poisoned her boss. Her two co-stars are equally impressive. Barton blossoms as Judy, the recently divorced woman who has gone back to work and often finds herself crying but then finds her footing, and eventually herself, over the course of the show. Barton has a big, booming voice that does justice to the soaring ballads Judy sings. ...Ryan is extremely likable and feisty as Doralee but also has plenty of charm and really makes you care for her....Ryan also has a strong voice and her solo, "Backwoods Barbie," is touching. The fact that Barton is just 17 and Ryan is in her early 20s and are both delivering such well-rounded performances is exceptional....9 to 5 is a fun, funny, fast-paced musical with characters you can root for. With talented leads, and James' always professional directorial and choreographic touches, DST's production is energetic and wacky but also full of charm." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)