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Diana DeGarmo plays Dolly Parton’s character in ‘9 to 5′ at Fox Theatre

Diana pot smokingDiana DeGarmo convincingly channeled Dolly Parton’s delightful Doralee Rhodes during the musical version of “9 to 5″ during opening night Tuesday of a six-day run at Fox Theatre.

DeGarmo, a former Snellville gal, got plenty of applause lines, especially when she threatens lecherous boss Franklin Hart (Joseph Mahowald) with a classic line from  the film: “I’m gonna get that gun of mine, and I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!”

That frothy 1980 film starring Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda transfers well to a musical. The songs add depth to the characters, three beleaguered secretaries at a major corporation led by sexist Hart. Like the movie, the trio fall into a pot haze and imagine ways to wreak revenge on the boss. Then they actually do get revenge. Dabney Coleman was sublimely hilarious in the film and Mahowald in the play does a credible job imitating Coleman’s late ’70s-era buffoonery.

Diana croons her solo "Backwoods Barbie" as Doralee

Diana croons her solo "Backwoods Barbie" as Doralee

Parton herself shows up – in video form, hovering on a screen in a clock hanging from the stage – at the beginning and end of the musical. She even sings a verse of her No. 1 hit “9 to 5.”

DeGarmo doesn’t look exactly like Parton. Heck, who does? But she gives the role oodles of sweet-hearted panache. And you could close your eyes and listen to DeGarmo’s talk like Doralee and think it’s Dolly herself.

The first half crackles with humor, as the three women build grievances against the boss. The marijuana-inspired revenge plots are just as hilarious on stage as they were on film. Dee Hoty, who has Tomlin’s Violet role, isn’t quite as wicked but Mamie Paris’s mousey Judy gets plenty of laughs.

There are some draggy moments in the second half as the musical careens to its farcical conclusion. But we know all ends well for Doralee & Co. while Hart gets a one-way ticket to Bolivia.

Diana smiling

Here’s a clip of Diana doing the scene in which Doralee fantasizes tying up the boss, cattle style:

If you go
“9 to 5″
8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29
8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30
8 p.m. Friday Oct. 1
2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 2
8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 2
1:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 3
7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 3
Fox Theatre
660 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta
(404) 881-2100
Ticketmaster.com

40 comments Add your comment

kelly&carriefan

September 29th, 2010
10:28 am

Oh, awesome. Now I’ll have that song stuck in my head. And Diana does not look like Dolly, but she definitely reminds me of Bette Midler…moreso, in the first picture.

Woodpappy

September 29th, 2010
10:30 am

Thanks Rodney for the info and pics. Go Diana !

JTesla

September 29th, 2010
10:51 am

Thanks Rodney, sounds like a great play.

wreckedpizza

September 29th, 2010
11:05 am

Rodney- big thanks for pics and review of Diana’s performance. Sounds like a wonderful time; still cannot believe I have to miss out! Maybe in my next life…

I, of course, think Diana looks fine as is; she doesn’t need to look like Dolly P. And Bette Midler?
Ewwwwww, I must say! Take it back, kelly&carriefan! lol.

Hope the musical does well and am still keeping the faith that Diana will record some more music in the not too distant future.

Nana

September 29th, 2010
11:44 am

Hey Everyone. I have been out of commission for awhile, but I’m back.

I have finally gotten caught up here. Looks like we had some loonies. They seemed to come out in full swing at times.Thanks for the 9 to 5 review Rodney. I would love to see the musical since Diana is one of my favorite idols. I ran into her a few years back in Snellville and spoke with her briefly. She is a very nice young lady and a joy to talk to.

I do have some pretty exciting news concering my 94 year old father. He is getting married!!!!!! Yay!!
His wife to be is 90 and I think it’s awesome that at their age they have found love for the second time since they both have buried their first spouses. The wedding is set for Nov 20 at the wedding chapel at Callaway Gardens. I just can’t wait. My dad is so very happy.

Janet

September 29th, 2010
11:46 am

Nana, what wonderful news! Rodney, thanks for this. Wasn’t that fond of Diana on Idol but think she has grown into what she was meant to be. Good for her!

Jessica

September 29th, 2010
11:48 am

I haven’t seen one negative review of Diana’s performance yet. Good for her. I hope she gets back to Broadway in the next couple of years and gets herself a Tony nomination. I’d love to see her as Fanny Brice in the Funny Girl revival.

Nana

September 29th, 2010
11:52 am

Thanks Janet.

Frankentasia

September 29th, 2010
12:04 pm

That’s really ME in white paint and a good blonde wig!

Deirdre

September 29th, 2010
12:15 pm

Welcome back Nana! And congrats to your dad!

Rodney thanks for the 9 to 5 review. Sounds like a fun evening. And Diana looks very cute in the Dolly get-up.

JLo

September 29th, 2010
12:16 pm

Get back to your Section 8 Fantasia! Thees here is about Diana. If you were as good an actor as Me, we see you on the stage.

Steven Tyler

September 29th, 2010
12:17 pm

Shut up! Both of you. Neither one of you bimbos can act!

Rosita

September 29th, 2010
12:24 pm

Hi all . My iPhone was stolen yesterday. Welcome back to Atlanta!
Woodpappy, would you call me please?y cell number is still the same but all my contact info is gone.

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
12:31 pm

Rosita, now you see I haven’t gone downtown more than a handful of times since the ‘96 Summer Games! :-)

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
12:33 pm

Looks like the inmates area running the asylum again, no?

Hank Williams Jr.

September 29th, 2010
12:43 pm

Rosita….how ya doin?

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
1:03 pm

Here’s my entry for “Joke Wednesday”

Otis the drunk is staggering home on a Sunday morning after imbibing way too much the night before. He’s walking down a country road with a small river running alongside.

Up ahead he sees people sitting on the bank, listening to a traveling preacher – who is standing in the water. Every so often, someone leaves the back, enters the water, and is baptized.

The preachers spies Otis and calls out to him, “Brother, are you ready to find Jesus?”

Otis says, “Sure” and heads into the water.

The preacher says “Lord, we’re grateful for this soul that is about to find Jesus.” and dunks Oits.
He pull Otis out of the water and asks, “Brother, have you found Jesus?”

“No” answers Otis.

Again, the preacher says “Lord, we’re grateful for this soul that is about to find Jesus.” and dunks Oits.

He pull Otis out of the water and asks, “Brother, have you found Jesus?”

Again, Otis answers, “No.”

For a third time, the the preacher says “Lord, we’re grateful for this soul that is about to find Jesus.” and dunks Oits.

Again, he pull Otis out of the water and urgently asks, “Brother, have you finally found Jesus?”

Exasperated at being dunked so many times Otis sputters, “NO! Are you sure this is where you lost him?”

Frankentasia

September 29th, 2010
1:31 pm

Who you tellin cain’t act? I don’t see yo self up on da tv except when yo face is in da tabloids fo’ lookin ruf! All sagged out from dem drugs yous been jackin on all dese years! Done caught up with yo old self! Das why you aint nerthin but a judge now. Aint nobody signing you at da Tabernacle!

Woodpappy

September 29th, 2010
2:08 pm

Hey Nana ! My bride and I got married in the Chapel at Callaway Gardens back in 1971. What a beautiful place even today.

Woodpappy

September 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

Love your joke Rickster…

[...] here:  Diana DeGarmo plays Dolly Parton’s character in ‘9 to 5′ at Fox Theatre [...]

kelly&carriefan

September 29th, 2010
2:35 pm

Hi Nana…that’s great news on your dad! Congrats.

Rickster, ha! Thanks for the Hump Day humor. :)

Nana

September 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

The chapel at CG is a beautiful setting for a wedding and hopefully, some of the fall colors will still be around.

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

Glad to oblige, folks. Glad to oblige.

Rodney Ho

September 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

Added some video I took last night, too. Check out Diana with some rope! Yeehaw!

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
3:18 pm

Watching that video makes me think Simon doesn’t know what he’s saying when he tells an audition candidate that they’re more suited for Broadway!

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
3:48 pm

And she can tie me up any time! :-)

Nancy

September 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

Broadway and musical theatre in general takes SKILL. It’s live with no safety net to protect you if you forget a line or hit a bad note. Diana has transitioned from a teenage diamond in the rough to a bonafide major league talent we’ll be hearing about for years to come. Good for her!! As long as she doesn’t develop Lindsay Lohan style bad habits (or a Fantasia-like attraction to personal drama), there’s no stopping her.

Deirdre

September 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

Loved the video!

Just found out my d-i-l is having a boy!!!!! :-)

Rickster

September 29th, 2010
4:06 pm

Congrats. your Queeness. We found out the other day that our youngest son & d-i-l are having their 2nd child. No word on the gender, since it’s too early.

So we’ve got a grandson on the way in January, and a gender-yet-to-be-determined grandchild in May.

Harriett

September 29th, 2010
4:07 pm

What great news–Nana AND Dierdre!!

Deirdre

September 29th, 2010
4:23 pm

JTesla

September 29th, 2010
6:30 pm

Congrats everyone!

Deanna

September 29th, 2010
6:53 pm

Thank you Rodney for the review and video. Diana looks great in this role!

Britishmaid64

September 29th, 2010
9:33 pm

Wonderful news Rickster, Nana, and Deirdre, congratulations to all of you.

As for Randy talking Simons seat, he is going to have to step up his game, the lame words he over uses like “pichy” and “dawg” an the worst statement of all is ” for you, for me” ooh I really don’t like when he says that over and over, it drives me nuts! Randy has got to realize he is sitting in the drivers seat, so he better drive! Thats what I’m sayin!!

john

September 30th, 2010
2:11 am

All the years diana spent dubbing other kids voice is not wasted. She sure can morphed her voice to fit the characters she played.

AtlantaFan

September 30th, 2010
10:23 am

I was at the show last night. It was fun, the characters were fun, and the music was good. Some of the ensemble number were a little over-the-top, but bottom line, I left smiling. There were many unfilled seats, so anybody who is thinking about going should definitely make plans. You won’t be disappointed.

Rickster

September 30th, 2010
12:41 pm

You know… if it weren’t for the fact that everyone in the top picture were smiling… the perfect caption would be “Earthquake!”

[...] Snellville’s own Diana DeGarmo plays the role of Doralee, which Dolly played in the movie. Here’s a review of Diana’s performance. She’s had a good deal of success performing in live theater roles since her run on [...]

b.blair

October 4th, 2010
11:26 pm

Went to the show twice at the Fox. Loved it and thought Diana sounds just like Dolly. I think she did a great job. Also got to see Dolly, since I was there on Saturday night. Thanks for the great show Dolly.