For three nights a week since the beginning of September, the cast of Community Player’s latest production “9 to 5: The Musical” have been preparing for their December performances. The show opened last week in Pawtucket’s Jenks Auditorium with final shows this coming weekend. With a cast of 15 actors and actresses, Cranston and Warwick residents – Lia Del Sesto McAlpine and Ron Martin – took on lead roles.
Based on the 1980 movie, “9 to 5: The Musical” tells the story of three female secretaries conspiring to take control of their company and learn there's nothing they can't do – even in a man's world.
Martin, 54, who plays Franklin Hart – the boss of Consolidated Industries – said his character is a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
“I hope the audience has an enjoyable experience and will learn a bit about the male hierarchy,” said Martin in an email interview.
Hart finds himself in a sticky situation with the three secretaries that results in a surprise ending. Martin, who has several singing numbers, brings his character’s creepiness to life through his rendition of “Here for You.”
The three women – Judy, Doralee and Violet – all have a bone to pick with Hart and fantasize the way they’d get their revenge.
“I play Violet,” said Cranston’s Lia Del Sesto McAlpine in an email interview. “She is a smart, savvy, hardworking widow and mother of a teenage son. She has been with the company, Consolidated Industries, for 15 years and has never been given the opportunity to move past a supervisor position; being passed over for promotions by others that she has trained. She is a victim of the ‘old boys' network.’”
Del Sesto McAlpine, 48, hopes audience members leave happier than when they came in with a feeling that anything is possible if you’re willing to take a risk.
“My favorite part of preparing for any production is working with and getting to know the cast,” Del Sesto McAlpine said. “The whole process of coming together at the beginning not knowing each other, not really knowing the music or script and then at the end having this amazing show and wonderful friendships formed is truly a special and gratifying experience. I love the experience of putting a show together as much as performing it.”
Martin added that his favorite part of preparing for the production was growing the mustache for his character.
Martin and Del Sesto McAlpine have been in a number of other Community Players Productions. Martin has been in “Sly Fox” and “Mamma Mia!” and Del Sesto McAlpine has been in “Evita,” “Chorus Line,” “Chicago” and “Annie,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “A Grand Night for Singing” and “The Sound of Music.”
The play includes many comedic aspects, whether it is through song, a character’s expression or line delivery. The musical numbers are well performed, and the audience had extra cheers for Becky Minda’s rendition of “Get Out and Stay Out.” Audience members will find themselves rooting for Judy, Doralee and Violet – even if they don’t take the most ethical (or legal) approaches in dealing with Hart.
Performances will take place at Jenks Auditorium (350 Division St., Pawtucket, RI 02860) on Dec. 9, 10 and 11. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday matinee commences at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students (with a valid ID). Discount rates are also available for all performances for groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased online at thecommunityplayers.org or reserved at (401) 726-6860. Visa and MasterCard accepted.
The play was directed by Cranston’s Marcia Zammarelli with music direction by Esther Zabinski of Foxboro and choreography by Leslie Racine Vazquez of Warwick. The production features Glocester's Kaelyn Boss, Bristol’s Tracy DiiBon Coffey, Woonsocket’s Kerry Lynn DeMinicosta, Coventry’s Jonathan Hart, Fall River’s Malique Jelks, Charlestown’s Karen Gail Kessler, Providence’s Tom Lavallee, Pawtucket’s Angelina Manfredi, Warwick’s Ron Martin, Cranston’s Lia Del Sesto McAlpine, Providence’s Becky Minda, West Warwick’s Luis Rodriguez, Rumford’s Lisa Taylor, Warwick’s Leslie Racine Vazquez and Uxbridge’s Ben Zabinski.
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