9 to 5: The Musical
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays and some Saturdays through Nov. 10., Thursday October 24 | $25-$40.
As lights go down and a Dolly Parton image suddenly appears projected above the minimal scenery, there\'s an unwelcome whiff of Branson, Mo., that would strangle most musicals before the first chorus. But however inane the preamble or insulting the implication, one likes to give Dolly the benefit of the doubt. This theatrical adaptation of the movie 9 to 5
certainly relishes the easy humor of obsolete technology. But while the inefficiency of electric typewriters isn\'t explicitly linked to the garrulous misbehavior of unabashed sexists, the air of impending extinction enlivens a feminism-for-beginners romp packed with memorable tunes and winning performances. As the long-suffering office manager, Lisamarie Harrison wields a devastating comic timing that threatens to bring down the house with every underplayed aside, but her deadpan venom isn\'t of the same theatrical universe as the telegraphed shrillness Amy Jo Halliday thrusts upon newly hired Judy\'s plucky ineptitude. Though Harrison proves herself a capable singer, her limitations of register are inevitably magnified when set directly against Halliday\'s show-stopping vocals. Stephanie Heuston, in Parton\'s role as Doralee, handles the heaviest lifting of a misunderstood \"Backwoods Barbie\" with full voice and electric presence. Even though the actresses never fade seamlessly into their roles in this Stumptown Stages\' presentation, that may be just the point.
1111 SW BroadwayWebsite: http://www.stumptownstages.org/