I love learning. Truly, I just love knowing stuff. Not for the "look what I know" thing, but more for the shoving "isn't this AMAZING?" in unsuspecting person's faces, as well as my compulsive need to connect dots. Yes, the chaos of coming together and moving apart that is our lives is mirrored in the smallest atoms and all things in the universe, but I persist in pissing in the wind and calling it rain, searching for some sort of connection in seemingly random, unconnected events. It may be untrue, but learning and seeing similarities just makes me feel better. So, in that spirit, I can write a little criticism under the guise of bettering myself.
10 Things I Learned from 9 to 5, the musical
1. Dolly Parton's songs are particularly well suited to theatre. They're from a character's POV most of the time, and emotionally grounded. That said, when she's writing for her surrogate self, she's at her clearest, witness "Backwoods Barbie". Though there was a good second act ballad and Ros had a really fun number. But, after seeing this, Dolly can do anything you ask her to. I expect a symphony and retail park soon.
2. I forgot how much I loved this movie, which leads me to
3. Adapting a really well-known movie requires performances so great or different they erase the originals. You know it when you think to yourself while Allison Janney is being her great self on stage "Wasn't Lily Tomlin so funny in this?"
4. Allison Janney can sell anything. She doesn't have the best voice, but she's out there doing it, and she commands the attention
5. Office interiors and corporate clothing circa 1980 are not anything I would choose to watch on stage. Even having now seen them once. Not such a pretty time. And office interiors are wierd as entertainment spaces--I felt the same about the Back to the Future ride, since you feel like you're at work watching a show. That said, who knew so much could be done with a copier?
6. I know first acts are supposed to be longer, but we should really not notice it being so....much....longer.
7. Marc Kudish is sexy. I believe I was aware of this, but I have now learned it.
8. Stephanie Block is now queen of power ballads and Megan Hilty deserves a great career, after this and Wicked. She's got a lot going for her.
9. Sometimes, when the enormous set leaves, the stage can feel very, very empty. Especially filled with the dancers who, because of the aforementioned ugly clothing, can remind one of the Carol Burnett show. Not bad, in some instances, but not really useful here.
10. A show in previews is in previews. That means it's a work in progress. Nice to see the progress.