#1 Isaiah Robinson
"Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin'!" rang through the auditorium in Delsea Regional High School's rendition of 9 to 5; a musical with music and lyrics written by Dolly Parton, and book by Patricia Resnick.
Set in the 80s, 9 to 5 tells the story of three downtrodden woman who will do whatever it takes to overcome a bigoted boss, who views women as mere objects. The musical debuted on Broadway in April of 2009 and has been an empowering show ever since.
The stage was brought to life the second the curtain opened, and this liveliness was maintained throughout the entire show. Delsea Regional High School truly exhibited what it meant to act each moment.
Lead actresses Madison Knox (Violet), Emily Lancetta (Judy), and Jessica McFadden (Dorlee), truly captured what it meant to be a working women during the 1990s; not to mention they each delivered astonishing vocals. Furthermore, their chemistry and display of character evolution gave a great deal of depth to their performances. Though these 3 characters worked together as a single unit, each character encompassed a unique style that allowed each of them to "Shine Like the Sun."
Every ensemble member showcased a high level of energy whether they were dancing their shoes off on stage or parading throughout the audience, handing out memos. Though the harmonies amongst the ensemble were hard to grasp, each face was rich with facial expressions and every dance move tight with syncopation. Sarah McFadden and Luke Harker were the icing on the cake with their goofy and comical roles as Roz and Hart.
Whether they were downstage left, or upstage right, each actor had a light to showcase their brilliant talent. This was due to the flawless job done by Delsea Regional High School's Lighting Board Apprentice, Henry Kobik, and Spot Light Operators, Sophia Fortner and Savannah Weyhmiller. Unfortunately, the mics did not provide a balanced blend during ensemble numbers. In addition, there were quite a few times where the mics were too hot for an actor's belt. This also affected articulation, and enunciation for certain actors.
Delsea Regional High School put on a show that was empowering, comedic, and inspiring to every audience member who viewed it.
#2 Maurice Wade
What is a better way to celebrate national women's day than with a "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot", and three women seeking to break the power struggle, gender inequality, and alienation of women in the workplace? Delsea Regional High School brought awareness of the woman's rights issue still prevalent today in their production of "9 to 5".
Based on the 1980 movie, "9 to 5" first premiered in Los Angeles in 2008 before making its debut on the Broadway stage in 2009. With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick, "9 to 5" has acquired numerous Drama Desk Awards as well as Tony nominations. Highlighting three strong women and a misogynistic boss, this musical reveals the corruption woman faced in the workplace.
Starting off the production with a video of Dolly Parton, the Delsea Stage Crew were tasked with the job of mixing live and pre-recorded sound, which they executed exceptionally. The video immediately captivated the audience preparing them for the uptempo first number "9 to 5"
Propelling the show with their story lines, Violet (Madison Knox), Doralee (Jessica McFadden), and Judy (Emily Lancetta) commanded the stage. Knox's wittiness added to her stage presence, McFadden's spot on accent and articulation accompanied by her charisma really grounded a well-developed character and, Lancetta's subtle yet significant acting choices and impressive vocals in "Get Out and Stay Out" inspired a beautiful raw performance. The impeccable comedic timing, character choices, and vocal technique by all three women sold the show.
Performances by cast members such as Hart (Luke Harker), Roz (Sarah McFadden), and lead dancer Dayla Fennal cannot go unrecognized. Harker embodied the narcissistic and derogatory ways of his character while still putting on a hilarious performance of "Here for You". Fennal's commitment and exuberance on stage ignited the entire ensemble, and the multiple Rozs and unbelievable vocals from McFadden in "Heart to Hart" astounded the audience.
The technical elements of this production really brought this production to life. Production Stage Manager (Marika Masarek) had her work cut out for with the massive set pieces, number of microphones, and light cues in the show. The well-designed lighting and swift costume changes enhanced the quality and difficulty of the production.
With high energy, intense dancing, and an impactful message, the cast and crew of Delsea took us into the lives of women working a typical "9 to 5".
#3 Vanessa Macias
What happens when a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss is finally put in his place by three wonderful women? Join Delsea Regional High School for their production of 9 to 5 and soon you'll see this is no longer a man's world!
When they're pushed to their boiling point by their boss and the evil ways of the office, Violet (Madison Knox), Doralee (Jessica McFadden), and Judy (Emily Lancetta) assemble a plan to finally get even with their revolting boss, Hart (Luke Harker). With lots of persistence and the refusal of giving up, these three women go through a heartfelt journey, changing for the better as they carry out their revolutionary plans.
The production was absolutely breathtaking! The energy of the cast was without a doubt remarkable and laughs roared throughout the theater during the entire show. The playfulness of certain characters created an environment that was full of joy. Overall, the production was filled to the brim with creativity and energy; something the audience surely let themselves fall in love with!
Madison Knox did a spectacular job in her leading role. Her portrayal of Violet was perfect, enough to perhaps even inspire the women sitting in the audience! Her beautiful voice echoed throughout the theater as she took the stage with confidence. Luke Harker, the actor behind the horrible Hart, did an outstanding job as well! He delivered his lines with energy, and never fell out of character. There is no doubt that he was a perfect fit for the role!
Jessica McFadden, who played the hilarious Doralee, was remarkable! From her amazing accent to her big golden locks, she strutted across the stage knowing darn well that she was a woman of power! Even with the southern accent, her diction was perfect and her voice stunning. Emily Lancetta did a wonderful job portraying Judy. She was full of emotion and delivered her lines flawlessly. Her powerful voice was also a highlight of the show, as she moved the audience with her vocals.
The lighting was also very vibrant and colorful, adding to the playfulness of the show. There were rarely any mic problems and the sound ran smoothly.
9 to 5 is an easily inspiring and empowering musical. Full of energy, humor, and glorious talent, it is one that is all too good to miss!