When 9 to 5 premiered on Broadway in 2009, the musical had all the makings of a surefire hit: it was based on a beloved classic comedic film and had one of the catchiest pop hits of the 80s by none other than Dolly Parton.
Needless to say, 9 to 5 the Musical was eagerly anticipated by fans of the movie and theatergoers alike. The film’s message of female empowerment and standing up against workplace discrimination has continued to resonate with audiences. Add to that a star-studded cast and an award-winning creative team that included the Grammy-winning Queen of country music herself, this show had everything going for it.
Yet despite the initial buzz and excitement, 9 to 5 struggled to maintain its momentum on Broadway and clocked out of the Marquis Theatre after less than five months. Was this a case of bad reviews, bad decisions, or simply bad luck? As we’ll discover, there were many factors that contributed to such a short run on Broadway. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this story is how it illuminates the inner workings of the movie-to-musical pipeline and the delicate balance between making art and making money.
Follow and listen to Closing Night on your favorite podcast app!
Closing Night is a production of WINMI Media with Patrick Oliver Jones as host and executive producer. Dan Delgado is the editor and co-producer, not only for this podcast but also for his own movie podcast called The Industry. Blake Stadnik composed the theme music, and Maria Clara Ribeiro is co-producer. Much appreciation goes to Lisa Howard for her insights as well as the voice talents of Christy Williamson and our very own Dan Delgado. Some of the 9 to 5 instrumental music was provided by Musical em Bom Português, check out their wonderful backing tracks for various musicals.
Click here for a transcript and full list of resources used in this episode (and there were a lot of them, believe me).
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices