9 to 5's score comes off sounding classier. Songwriter Dolly Parton's honest, simple-hearted good sense comes through clearly, empowering the four terrific performers in the lead roles: Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, and Megan Hilty as the variously victimized office gals, and Marc Kudisch as the preening boss they all abominate. Unhappily, other aspects of the show—a lackluster book, busy-busy direction, and bland choreography—only hinder these hard-working folk, and the story's tricksy, urbanized comic tone makes a bad match for Parton's country-bred sincerity. Her talent needs, and deserves, a more heartfelt tale to tell.

Studio 54 existentialism: Lane, Goodman, and Irwin in Waiting for Godot
Joan Marcus
Studio 54 existentialism: Lane, Goodman, and Irwin in Waiting for Godot

Details

Waiting for Godot
By Samuel Beckett
Roundabout Studio 54
254 West 54th Street, 212-719-1300

The Philanthropist
By Christopher Hampton
Roundabout American Airlines Theatre
227 West 42nd Street, 212-719-1300

9 to 5
By Patricia Resnick and Dolly Parton
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway, 800-982-2787

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mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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