We’ve all been there. The alarm goes off, you need to drag your butt out of bed and get to a job where you feel underappreciated. But what can you do? Fantasize about murdering the boss, maybe? While that may not sound very funny, just wait until you see this hilarious musical, based on the book by Patricia Resnick and featuring a score and narration by the beloved Dolly Parton who starred in the original motion picture.
Director Marcia Zammarelli, who is also responsible for set and costume design, has done a fine job of using this wonderfully memorable score to keep her performers dancing throughout the office space. Choreographer Leslie Racine Vazquez is credited with those moves. With musical direction by Esther Zabinski, it’s also refreshing to hear a live band performing! Lighting by Alex Sprague is perfectly timed to move with the scenes as they change.
The Community Players bring us back to 1979 when women were very undervalued and exploited. Fear not though, as this comedy, like all others, has a happy ending! In this tale, three unlikely friends conspire to take control of their company, which is led by a misogynistic (lying, sexist, hypocritical, egotistical, bigot) womanizing CEO, Mr. Hart, perfectly portrayed by Ron Martin. You’ll love to hate him whether he’s mistreating a staffer at work or swinging from the ceiling at home (No spoiler alerts here!).
Leading ladies Lia Del Sesto McAlpine as Violet, Kaelyn Boss as the voluptuous (think Dolly) Doralee, and Becky Minda as the meek newbie, Judy, each lend their dance and vocal talents to the stage while otherwise making us laugh at every turn. Likewise for Karen Gail Kessler, who portrays the annoying coworker Roz with both precision and grace. You’ll love her solo, as well as the fun fantasy sequences by the others!
The cohesion among the cast is apparent. Says Minda, “This was my first time working with the Community Players and it was so wonderful how quickly they brought me into the family! It’s been a truly awesome experience.”
Zammarelli added, “The cast and crew worked so hard on this production. They have been a wonder. Would also like to send a shout out to my partner and producer, Vincent Lupino. I couldn’t have done this without him.”
The performance will run through December 11 at the Jenks Junior High auditorium in Pawtucket. In conjunction with the production, The Community Players will be accepting donations for the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Suggested donations include grooming items and towels, pillows, pillowcases and twin-size sheets, which can be left at any performance. For more information, please visit thecommunityplayers.net or call 401-726-6860.
All photos by Alison O’Donnell. Featured cover image courtesy of The Community Players.