By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
The whole show feels like a copy of a copy of a copy of something that wasn't all that great to begin with. DeGarmo's a decent little singer but only a third-rate Dolly. Playing Judy, the divorced housewife in her first office job, Mamie Parris wears Fonda's old hairstyle but never the flinty attitude. As the Tomlin character, actress Dee Hoty looks and sounds like Allison Janney, who played Violet in the short-lived and viciously reviewed Broadway production of 9 to 5.
The characters, if you need reminding, are lowly secretaries suffering the sexist putdowns of a swinish boss (Joseph Mahowald). After smoking some happy-hour weed, the ladies hatch a kidnapping plot. They hold the boss hostage just long enough to redo company policies, adding daycare, flex time and "casual Fridays."
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Working against a dreadful book by Patricia Resnick, the cast's energy is drained by pumping the script's lame women's-lib jokes and by dodging the constantly moving scenery (by Kenneth Foy). Every number ends with a freeze-tag ta-dah; every song goes on three verses too long.
Like its songwriter, 9 to 5 is freakishly top-heavy, with the first act running almost three times longer than the second and with twice as many songs. A huge clock dominates the set, a reminder that while watching this show, life is ticking away. It's over by 10:30 p.m., but sitting through 9 to 5 feels like a full day's work.
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