The Hilltop High School Drama Club brought equal amounts of music, suspense and comedy to the stage in the Hilltop Auditeria over the weekend of March 10, presenting “9 to 5 – The Musical.”
Based upon the 1980 movie of the same name, and featuring music and lyrics by original movie co-star Dolly Parton, “9 to 5” centers on the office lives of three women, Violet Newstead (portrayed by Leah Carothers), Judy Bernly (Hannah Reamsnyder), and Doralee Rhodes (Aubrie Calvin). They all work at a regional branch of Consolidated Industries, which is presided over by the chauvinistic and pompous Franklin Hart, Jr. (Caiden Miller). Single mother Violet has been at Consolidated for many years, and although she is a hard worker, she has never been given the chance to rise above senior supervisor status. Judy is newly separated, and joins the company with no work experience. Doralee is a happily married Texas country girl, but she is looked down upon by the other female workers at Consolidated.
Judy has an awful first day, which is compounded by Hart publically ridiculing her. Hart then passes Violet over for another promotion, and Doralee finds out that Hart has been telling everyone that they are having an affair. Finding a common thread in the hatred of their boss, the three women unite. When Judy explains that she had a dream that Hart died, the other women share their fantasies about never having to deal with Hart again. These dreams almost become a reality when Violet almost unknowingly poisons Hart the next day. He then conspires with his administrative assistant, Roz (Brianna Bell) to blackmail the three women, threatening to turn them over to the police. The dream of Doralee then becomes a reality, as she ties Hart up with the phone wires. Emboldened by a new sense of confidence, the ladies decide to imprison him in his own house while his wife is away.
In Hart’s absence, Violet, Judy, and Doralee take over the office, beginning with sending Roz away for an intensive one-month course in Colorado on speaking French. With Hart’s loyal and hopelessly enamored minion out of the way, the ladies introduce a flurry of new programs like company sponsored childcare, hour-long lunch breaks, alcohol rehab, and much more to benefit the surprised staff at Consolidated. While Hart is tied up, the women also use the time to work with junior accountant Joe (Chase Masters), in gathering evidence that Hart has been embezzling from the company. Hart successfully breaks free from his home imprisonment, and surprises Joe and the ladies at the office. However, his attempts to reveal the truth about his kidnapping are foiled when the Chairman of the Board, Russell Tinsworthy (Mark Pearly) arrives to praise the increased productivity of the company, unaware that the increased production was the result of the changes instigated by Violet, Judy, and Doralee. Upon discovering the truth behind the changes, Tinsworthy sends Hart packing to head up the Bolivia office, and promotes Violet, not to just the next step, but all the way to the top of the regional office, making her the first female CEO.
Continuing on in the mold of ‘Sweeney Todd’ and 2016’s ‘Xanadu’, the Hilltop High School Drama Club continues to push the boundaries by staging productions that no other school has attempted, and doing quite well at it in the process. The work of the directing staff of Lena Miller, Sam Maran and Nancy Miller was reflected well in the exceptional performances turned in by the cast, especially those of the three leading ladies. With the support of the stage crew, “9 to 5” has become another in a string of hit Hilltop productions.
Timothy Kays can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org