The West Island Theatre Association has done it again: delivering a riveting romp to enthusiastic audiences with a glimpse into the world of the working woman and the accompanying joys, triumphs, tribulations and tumult with which they have had to deal with for decades now. Many will recall the film of the same name (and maybe even the book years later by Patricia Resnick, who co-wrote the well-known big screen incarnation released in 1981) starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda (Parton wrote the songs for the first stage adaptation in 2008, and of course sings the title theme on the movie soundtrack itself). WISTA capitalizes expertly – and effortlessly they would have us believe – yet again on a story that though based in 1979, can equally be ripped right from the proverbial headlines of 2019 – to deliver a dramatically delightful and musically masterful incarnation directed by the passionate and palpably focused Julianna Astorino.
Not all of us in our own daily
lives are especially enamoured with his or her superiors in the workplace, and 9 to 5 personifies the struggle so many
women have faced – and sadly continue to face – to overcome bigotry, misogyny,
arrogance and dishonesty emanating from above. Robin Kravitz, Kaysey Hart and
Emily Brayton bring fervent and fiery gusto to the roles of the three women,
respectively – one a new and inexperienced employee, one an underappreciated
yet supremely talented employee consistently passed over for promotion, and the
third a beleaguered receptionist – and the subject of unwanted and
inappropriate advances from the man in charge of it all, unfortunately.
This triumvirate of determined – yet empirically diverse – workers is joined in the struggle by an energetic ensemble cast of twenty-six – all buoyant and committed to their characters’ daily grind or power trip, as the case may be. An eclectic nine piece ensemble orchestra simply puts the sonic sweetness into the Louise Chalmers Theatre stratosphere with the greatest of assembly line ease.
Always topping themselves and tapping into the sheer energy and excitement that is local, unparalleled quality community theatre, WISTA continually mesmerizes, impresses, and delights audiences – 9 to 5 continuing that vaunted and enviable tradition/streak. Now having tweaked the technical nuances and deliciously delivering improved theatre audio quality sound, it just effortlessly makes the already infectious, irresistible soundtrack even more of a true-to-life experience for theatergoers.
We dare you not to sing along and empathize with, happily humanize and want to fraternize with, this identifiable trio just taking what they’re giving and working for a living, engaged in a battle so many of us have waged – perhaps more on the side of the drawn battle line where Judy, Violet and Doralee find themselves rather than their antagonists. With catchy tunes and a timeless story, the rafters indeed shimmy and shake at John Rennie High School’s Louise Chalmers Theatre in Pointe-Claire.
And they will continue to do so from 9:00 to 5:00 (though show times actually begin in early evening, of course, save for one matinee performance on Saturday, June 15th that precedes its evening performance counterpart) this coming Thursday through Saturday until that very night’s curtain call. So bring your work ethic, your singing voice and most appropriate footwear to tap along to the Theatre, located at 501 St-Jean Blvd. in Pointe-Claire.
Performances remaining are June 13th through 15th at 7:30 p.m. and the aforementioned matinee June 15 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30, or $22 for students, seniors and Quebec Drama Federation (QDF) members. Visit www.wista.ca for more information or to make reservations.