9 to 5 Review Part 1

This Carnival, Scotch'n'Soda put on a production of "9 to 5," an office comedy based on the same-titled 1980 film starring Dolly Parton. After putting on five splendid shows, the highly sophisticated cultural critics of pillbox needed a week or so to simmer on the gravity of this production they had just witnessed. It's just a coincidence that both writers happen to have also been in the show.

The story follows three women struggling to make it through the toil of working at Consolidated Industries under the supervision of their lecherous, power-hungry boss, Frank Hart (Lucas Barnes). Judy (Abby Glass) is a recently divorced woman who finds herself struggling to adapt to the high-stress office life; Violet (Madeline Elston) is a fiercely competent, widowed mother fighting for a promotion; and Doralee (Ashley Offman), our Dolly Parton stand-in, struggles to be taken seriously due to her southern accent and appearance. We also have Roz (Alyssa Rivera), Hart's devoted personal assistant with a hidden passion for her boss that she reveals during "Heart to Hart," the single greatest song in all of musical theater. And last but not least, Trey DuBose gave us "Joe," the rizz-deficient junior accountant who falls for Violet.

And of course, who could ignore the pit. Under the musical direction of Chris Renaud (who developed a bitter feud with pillbox after being unjustly omitted in the fall review of "Something Rotten"), he held together the pit during some of the most challenging numbers ever attempted by humans. And in continuing the tradition of our Musical Director drinking a comical amount of fluid, Chris (known intolerator of lactose) drank one-quarter gallon of chocolate milk during the Thursday show. For my part, I was once again playing Keyboard 2, which generally involved rocking out on a jazz organ or string pads (along with a brief, but glorious moment of accordion during "5 to 9.")

You may have noticed the pit was actually not in a pit, but rather raised to the heavens on a God-insulting, tower-of-babel-esque platform that struck awe (and fear) into the hearts of the pit (minus our drummer Etan, who was Zooming with Chris from behind the platform.) Despite our initial trepidation, the carpenters worked an absolute miracle and created one mighty fine set. Good job carpenters.

Also in the ensemble was 50 percent of our pillbox editing staff, the wonderful and multi-talented Anna Cappella who played the detective in the hospital scene ("What kind of low life would use poison to kill somebody?"). Our very own editor-in-chief Cole Skuse played trombone, and regular pillbox contributor Kate Myers played the role of Frank Hart's wife.

Allegedly, many in the audience could not hear much dialogue. To this end, we suggest they learn to enjoy a vibes-first approach to storytelling, as this musical had no shortage of strong vibes and bangin' tunes.

All in all, it was a fantastic way to sell my soul to Carnival, and I have no qualms about not being able to spend my afternoons drinking in a field with the other denizens of Carnegie State. If you can read a script, play an instrument, or use a drill I highly recommend you keep an eye out for whatever S'n'S has cooking this fall and get involved in some theater.