Cast, creativity make ‘9 to 5’ worth the trip to State Theatre in Eustis

Don Simson

The Bay Street Players have outdone themselves with their adaptation of Dolly Parton’s musical “9 to 5.”

The fast-action and high-stepping choreography makes this an enjoyable evening. Opening scenes include an introduction by Dolly projected on a screen above the stage.

The large office staff is led by Violet (Laurie Sullivan), Judy (Lisa Johnson) and Doralee (Nina Bethencourt, a Dolly look alike.)

These actors perform and work in great harmony with singing, dancing and performance. Company manager Mr. Hart (Andrew Johnson, a Dabney Coleman duplicate) really projects the office sentiment toward women in the work force.

Nina Bethencourt as Doralee, Laurie Sullivan as Violet and Lisa Renee Johnson as Judy, from left.

A large supporting cast rounds out the complete musical ensemble. Choreography is well rehearsed and executed. The unique set is designed to overcome the many scene changes and limitations of the stage.

Moving desks, furniture, office equipment took some creative thinking. By using projectors on side and over stage drapes the scenes adapted to the various office and home locations. The audio system still needs a little work. Some of Dolly’s dialogue was indistinguishable and an occasional soliloquy was hard to hear. Overall this is a well-produced and executed performance that brings back memories of how sexist business was to women. 

The production runs until Dec. 3 at the Historic State Theatre in Eustis. It is worth the trip and also to see the Christmas lights in the park across the street.

Don Simson is a Villager and reviews local theater for Villages-News.com

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