Cast and directors reflect on ‘9 to 5’

The curtains open, and the lights turn on, presenting a stage set of the American workplace in the 1970s. It is early March, and the choir department introduces the bold musical, 9 to 5, to the Cary Grove stage.

Featuring various themes, this production covers sexism and unfair distribution of power, while taking place in the 1970s when these were more problematic.  The three female leads work together to take down the arrogant, misogynistic boss using an hilariously exaggerated method.  

This production, which premiered on the Broadway stage in 2009, is relatively new, and, therefore, less known.  The audience was able to enter the auditorium with little expectation of what they had gotten a ticket to see.  It was unlike many of the past shows, in that it was an uncommon show to see on a high school stage.

Taking a break from the heart-wrenching Fiddler on the Roof from last year, 9 to 5 offered nearly continuous laughter amongst the audience.  

“Part of that is contrast to last year.  Last year we did a classic musical about a Jewish family being persecuted, and this year we dealt with sexism in the 1970s workplace with three female protagonists kind of leading the charge. It’s much more contemporary in style and music and staging,” Mr. Boncosky said. “Comedy is nice too.  Last year there were some comedic moments in Fiddler, but this is certainly a comedy.”

“9 to 5 was fun and enjoyable to perform,” said senior Brendan Pedersen, who played Mr. Hart. “When I got the one guy part, my role was changed. I was more involved than I thought it would be. It was a different experience from last year.”

While the tone of the production is lighter than the emotional weight of Fiddler, it is still focused on morality, equality, and everyday struggles.

“All of them are trying to find balance in their lives, between work and home and who they are as people and how they are going to move forward,” Mrs. Hester said. “That balance is something you are always trying to strive for, and I think those characters did a really great job of showing how confidence in yourself and your abilities goes toward achieving balance in your life.”

For much of the cast, this was the last musical they will be a part of as students of Cary Grove, making it an emotional experience.  This is especially true with those that had been involved in much of the show.

“At the end, I was just so happy that I had gotten the experience,” said senior Kelly Kaveney, who played Judy Bernly. “I was so caught up in the moment of it by how great and proud I was of the cast. I could do nothing but smile and be really proud of everything the cast had done, and I was just really proud that that got to be my senior year, and it was a nice way to end my career for the musicals.”

This goes to show that experiences in high school can be memorable and great.  Though it is goodbye for some, they have a life full of memories to make.  High school is just the beginning.