The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 8, 2014

What a way ... to make a livin'

DLO brings musical '9 to 5' to DACC

The Commercial-News

---- — The Danville Light Opera Dinner Theater will present “9 to 5: The Musical” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15 and at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Danville Area Community College’s Bremer Auditorium. Doors open 30 minutes before the meal.

This show is based on the 1980 American comedy film “9 to 5,” with all the music and lyrics written by country singer and actress Dolly Parton. The musical version first opened on Broadway in 2009, so it’s the newest show that DLO has produced.

The plot is about three female co-workers who are pushed to the breaking point by their boss and devise a plan to get even with him. This hilarious story of friendship and revenge features a lot of fun and shenanigans, along with great music and dancing.

The director of the show is Jenny Taylor, and the music director is Lauren Smith. The show’s choreographer is Jesse Pierce.

This will be the second time Taylor has directed a DLO production. She directed “My Fair Lady” a few years ago and has been involved with Light Opera since 1999.

She has been music director for four shows, played trombone in the orchestra, created all the multimedia for several shows and was in the cast of “My Name Will Always be Alice.”

Taylor said, “I loved the movie (‘9 to 5’) because it was fun and silly. When we were looking at shows for the season, I immediately started envisioning this show, and after I heard the music I was sold.

“Directing a show is about creativity and expression, and that is truly satisfying to me,” she added. “I can watch it over and over, and be entertained and delighted every single time.”

Taylor continued, “One thing I always try to emphasize is the importance of every member of the cast. Our leads are perfect for their roles, and you couldn’t ask for a better ensemble. They dance, act, and change costumes a lot, and they’re the key to a successful show.”

Gretchen Yordy, in the role of Violet — played by Lily Tomlin in the movie — has been with DLO for eight years. This is her fifth show and her biggest role ever.

“People will want to come out for this show because it’s really fun, featuring a lot of great music, choreography and laughs,” Yordy said.

This is the first time that Lauren Smith has directed the music in a DLO production.

“If you’ve seen the movie ‘9 to 5,’ then you will really love this show,” Smith said. “Even though Dolly Parton wrote all the songs, they are definitely not all country.” She added that the music is quite intricate, with a lot of four-part harmony.

Smith started her stage career at age 8 when she appeared in “Charlotte’s Web.” She participated in theater at Lincoln Christian University and is in her first year of working at Danville High School.

“I’ve always wanted to direct the music in a DLO show,” Smith said. Her mother, Belinda Smith, has directed the music in many DLO productions and encouraged her to accept this position.

“Everyone is working very hard on the show, and I know we won’t leave the audience disappointed,” Smith said.

DLO cast members of “9 to 5” include Yordy as Violet; Deborah Hale as Doralee; Mallory Williams as Judy; Tim Kirby as Franklin; Suzy Smalley as Roz; Barb Whaling as Margaret; Jessica Sampson as Kathy; and Melanie Clark as Maria. Other actors include Matt Woods as Joe; Aaron Martin as Dwayne; Trudy Wolf as Missy; Dean Kirby as Josh; Robin Romack as Pearl; Julie Ritter as Nedra; George Murrmann as Tinsworthy; Kelli Carlton as Betty Jean; Amanda Coutant as Anita; Jennifer Kirby as Rhoda; and members of the ensemble.

Doc Ashton and the Root Canals will provide musical accompaniment for the show. Dinner will be provided by Nelson’s Catering.

Crew members assisting in the production include Gary Lickfett, Rick Welchans, Paul Strain and Ken Huff.

Ticket information Tickets for the dinner theater must be ordered by Feb. 11, either on-line at or by calling the box office at 431-1660. Cost for the dinner and show is $34 for adults and $22 for students (with student identification). The DLO accepts credit card payments with an additional $1.50 (adult) and $1 (student) convenience charge per ticket. Seating is limited.