This just in from the New York Post: “The musical version of 9 to 5, which probably seemed like a good idea way back when, will close around Labor Day, several theater sources say.” They’re also estimating the cost of the show — which opened back in early April — at $14M.
When we met Allison Janney (who stars as Violet Newstead, the role played by Lily Tomlin in the original film version), at the press day for Away We Go, she looked fantastic, but said that she was incredibly tired from the grueling two performance per day schedule. (In fact, she said it was much harder than working on The West Wing, because there was less down time and waiting around.)
Dolly Parton — who was closely involved with creating and promotion the production — received a Tony nomination for the score, but the show did not receive a Best Musical nod. The Post suggests that the biggest problem with 9 to 5 was the lack of reinvention in bringing it to the stage. Patricia Resnick — who wrote the film’s screenplay as well — was in charge of the book and remained faithful to the original.
Critics were mixed about Janney’s performance and whether the show had any substance behind all the fluff. In what some might consider the kiss of death, the New York Times‘ Ben Brantley called it an “overinflated whoopee cushion.”
On a side note, The Little Mermaid will also close on Labor Day.