Todd Uhrmacher, longtime director of Ralston Community Theatre's annual summer musical, said there are advantages to picking your show later.
Last fall, he knew the Playhouse was doing “The Wizard of Oz,” Papillion-La†Vista had chosen “42nd Street” and the Rose picked “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Uhrmacher saw that the lineup was missing a contemporary piece, one that hadn't been done locally before.
When the rights suddenly became available, Ralston jumped on “9 to 5,” Dolly Parton's 2008 musical based on the 1980 hit movie she starred in. The show opens Friday night at Ralston High School.
Uhrmacher said the show has a winning combination of nostalgia for the movie and for 1980, plus a brilliant score that is not all the twangy country sound sometimes associated with Parton.
“It's a very contemporary, fresh, Broadway sound,” he said. “Members of the cast are saying they had no idea the music was going to be this fun.”
Few musicals are written with three women in lead roles. Uhrmacher said Parton's score includes moments for each of the three working women, who join forces against an abusive boss at the office, to stand front and center and belt out a great tune. He also said his leads — Mary Kay Gilreath, Erika Hall and Melanie Walters — blend beautifully in some trio moments.
Ryan Pivonka is vocal director, Marty Frye directs an orchestra of about a dozen, and choreography is by Michelle Garrity. Uhrmacher and Virginia Grogan are having some fun designing period costumes.