After a long shutdown from the coronavirus, The Studio Theatre™ Tierra del Sol will open its first production of its fifth season, “9 to 5 The Musical,” on Jan. 29 through March 6, at The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, 1051 Main St., The Villages. The production features the music and lyrics by Dolly Parton and book by Patricia Resnick.
“We are all very excited to get back to our livelihoods,” says Whitney Morse, artistic director.
The musical comedy “9 to 5” is based on the 1980 movie of the same name. Violet, Judy and Doralee are three coworkers who concoct a plan to get even with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss. Set in the Rolodex era, these three women smash the patriarchy in their workplace. This musical is a hilarious story of revenge, empowerment, and unlikely friendships.
Actress Lauren Echausse plays Doralee Rhodes. A true New Jersey native and a performer for over 16 years, Lauren received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Penn State University. In 2015, Lauren was nominated for the Papermill Rising Star Award for Little Sally in “Urinetown!” Lauren has appeared at the New London Barn Playhouse in iconic roles such as Sandy in “Grease,” Cheryl Ann in “Catch Me If You Can” and as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde.” Of her performance in “Legally Blonde,” Kiran Pandey of Penn State News said, “Lauren Echausse exudes confidence as Elle, capturing the gutsy know-how that Reese Witherspoon brought to the character in the original movie while making the character fully her own.”
The show “9 to 5” will be Lauren’s first time gracing The Studio Theatre’s stage and she is looking forward to bringing some of Elle Woods to the role of Doralee: “Elle Woods actually parallels with Doralee in lots of ways: they are both strong female leads who are confident, smart, and effortlessly themselves,” says Lauren. “They pave the way for young women to be unapologetically authentic, brave, and open to feel and say things that are on their mind.”
Hailing locally from Florida is Sara DelBeato, who plays Judy Bernly. Last seen on The Studio Theatre’s stage as Louise in “Always…Patsy Cline” produced by Victory Productions. Sara was awarded the JazzFest USA 98 All-Star Award for her jazz vocals and was featured in Downbeat Magazine highlighting her singing achievements. And you may even have caught her yodeling on “American Idol.” Barbara Fredrickson of the Tampa Bay Times has said of Sara: “Talk about star power…this gal has it.” Just completing “A Christmas Carol In Concert” at freeFall Theatre Company, this native Floridian also shares useless trivia when she’s nervous, just like her character Judy. Sara says she is “beyond excited” to help tell this story of strong, empowered women.
The cast also includes Whitney Morse (Violet Newstead), Jason Bowen (Franklin Hart Jr.), Alyson Johnson (Margaret), Andrea Diaz (Maria), Brett Klock (Josh/Office Worker), Craig Smith (Dwayne/Office Worker), Dongwoo Kang (Joe), Indigo Leigh (Kathy/ Dance Captain), Lon Ward Abrams (Tinsworthy), Marissa Volpe (Roz Keith), Rachel Whittington (Missy/ Office Worker/U/S Doralee Rhodes/Judy Bernly), Sage Spiker (Dick/ Office Worker), Alec Speers (U/S Franklin Hart Jr./Tinsworthy/Dwayne), Autumn Encarnacion (U/S Missy/Kathy/Margaret/Maria), Heather Ard (U/S Violet Newstead/Roz Keith), and James Blaisdell (U/S Joe/Josh/Dick).
The Theatre Management and Creative Teams are composed of Director Nathaniel Niemi, Music Director Gary Powell, Choreographer Indigo Leigh, Producer Jason Goedken, Artistic Director Whitney Morse, Set Designer Kenneth Constant, Costume Designer Annie Trombo, Lighting Director/Designer David Krupla, Assistant Lighting Designer/Master Electrician Lindsey Young, Sound/AV Designer Nick Erickson, Props Designer Haley Borodine, Production Manager Danielle Paccione, Assistant Production Manager Leslie Munson, Technical Director Clayton Becker, Stage Manager Grace Zottig, Assistant Stage Manager/Dramaturgy Stephanie Horn, Company Manager Ryan Loeckel, Lighting Programmer Omri Schwartz, Audio Engineer/Carpentry Luke Bezio, The Studio House Manager Grace Petty, The Sharon House Manager Heather Ard, as well as Literary Manager Rachel Whittington, Carpentry and Spotlight Tony Fairchild and David Bost, and Spotlight Chad Pavlovich.
The Musical Team is composed of Conductor Gary Powell, Keyboards: Jill Marrese and Sean Pollack, Electric/Acoustic Guitar Bill Neale, Electric Bass Steven Whipple, Drums/Percussion Rich Roeske, and Percussion/Violin Ryan Loeckel.
The cost for the show is $20 for previews; $40 for performances. The sign language interpretation of the show will be Feb. 16.
For tickets, visit: www.TheSharonStudio.com or call 352.751.7799.
Erika Nelson, marketing account manager for the theater, says for coronavirus safety precautions, the theater has made a video and a page for its theater patrons: www.thesharon.com/reopening.php