“9 to 5”: $120 Blockbuster Rental

Marquis Theatre

Times Square

New York, New York

June 20, 2009

Who hasn’t seen the movie 9 to 5? Apparently, the three leads, in the current Broadway production, each own a beta, VHS and DVD copy of it. Their performances mimic the original performances perfected on the silver screen by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton. Is it a problem? Not when you want to experience a big budget musical NYC style, entertain three teenagers and enjoy an amusing rerun.

Before the curtain rose, I wondered how a plot pre-dating the influences of Anita Hill, Alexis Colby and pant suits would transcend to 2009. It couldn’t so the producers smartly set it where it belonged back in 1979. A year established in the PLAYBILL and reinforced on stage with typewriters, bad hair and an egotistical, sexist, tyrannical boss. Like watching an episode of Seinfeld for the bazillionth time, I knew every punch line before it was uttered. But like spending the evening with a friend telling the same stories again, I could enjoy it accompanied by a lychee martini. And because it’s my dream to have a life moment actualized in a choreographed dance number in the parking lot of Treasurer Island, I liked the addition of songs and dance numbers.

Here’s the big speed bump, Allison Janney’s singing! I loved her in West Wing, American Beauty, Juno, and Away We Go. She’s proven her extensive range from drama to comedy. (Come on, Al, be happy with that and four Emmys! Save your singing for the car or karaoke night) Although to Janney’s defense, Lily Tomlin probably would have sang it exactly the same way.

Who hasn’t seen the movie 9 to 5? Apparently, out of my five theatre companions, only Steve and me had actually viewed the movie and really only I remembered it.

Final words from the second row of the mezzanine: Mike – “9 to 5 gets a 10,” Ashley – “girls rule,” Michael – “cute, fun, entertaining,” Abby – “big boobs rode Texas backwards,” and Steve – “I liked the songs and dance numbers best in the movie!”

Waiting for the show
Ruby Foo’s in Times Square was a great stop for sushi and a drink pre-curtain. Decorated in Mah-jong tiles and Japanese lanterns, the atmosphere is a little Asian oasis to the bustling hordes of people walking and sitting in a makeshift pedestrian mall steps from the door. A word of warning: don’t forget to sign your credit card receipt or they will track you down via your friend’s cell. If your friend is anybody like Steve, you know this moment will become a joke with a longer run than Cats.

After being overly stimulated by the techno light show of advertisements and the naked cowboy in Times Square, a nightcap at the Rainbow Room for the view is a perfect plan. Unfortunately, it no longer exists as we found out. The historic Rainbow Room has cut its hours and is closing for good on Sunday. So, instead of being on top of The Rock, we went below street level and had a ginger martini in the plaza. Even if the server is a little bitchy, tip 20%… people need to pay rent and NYC is expensive!

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