See ‘9 to 5: the Musical’ at Batavia High School

Tired of the rat race? Batavia High School’s production of “9 to 5: the Musical” offers you a chance to laugh at workplace woes and to sing along with some catchy tunes.

Based on the 1980 movie “9 to 5” starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, the musical tells the story of three female co-workers who concoct a scheme to get even with their sexist, lying boss.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8, 9 and 10 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.

According to Dominic Cattero, the show’s director, Batavia High School is the first high school in Illinois to stage this musical.

The Daily Herald asked Cattero some questions about the show; here are his responses.

Q. Why did you choose “9 to 5” for Batavia High School’s fall play?

Dominic Cattero. I chose “9 to 5” for three basic reasons. 1. It is a new musical and is only recently released for theatrical rights. It is not often that students get the opportunity to bring characters to life in a show that hasn’t been seen by an audience dozens of times. It is just a great experience for them to be able to do such a contemporary musical. 2. Although it is originally a movie from 1980, the themes of women’s rights and equality are very much themes that are going on in our world right now. In that sense I felt it was a perfect time in our nation’s history to bring this piece of art to life again.

3. It is not often that a musical spinoff from a movie is better than the original movie, but this is one of those instances. “9 to 5: the Musical” has so much more life and energy than the original movie. It is a great adaptation.

Q. Did many of your students see the 1980 film?

Cattero. I don’t know if they watched it on their own. I did not recommend the cast watch it. I never recommend actors watch someone else’s interpretation of a character. This version is our version and perhaps as a director I don’t agree with the choices that director made. They would just be repeating the vision of someone else.

Q. How many students are involved with the production?

Cattero. There are just under 100 students involved in the production between cast, crew and orchestra.

Q. How will your play differ from the film?

Cattero. Without giving anything away, the script does differ from the movie a bit. There is an added love interest in the musical. Over all, though, I would say the main thing we did is “Broadway-fy” it.

Q. What were the most challenging aspects of getting this production together?

Cattero. The most challenging aspect of the production is the size of it. It is a massive show, with a massive set and massive lighting. It is one of the largest shows people will have ever seen anywhere.

Q. What do you think audiences will enjoy most about this play?

Cattero. This musical has some outstanding music, especially the songs, “I Just Might,” “Shine Like the Sun,” “One of the Boys” and “Get Out.” There is also an outstanding special effect for securing Mr. Hart after he has been kidnapped by the three ladies.

Without hesitation I can say that of all the productions I have directed, professional, community or student, this is one of the best. I don’t speak unless I mean what I say. If you don’t see this show you are missing something that will never be able to be recreated again. This is no average production; it is something stunning that you will never forget.

Q. For what ages is this play appropriate?

Cattero. That is up to the discretion of the parents. We have rated it PG-13. Here is how I describe it, though. The musical is more tame than the movie. If you would let your child watch the movie, there is no reason they can’t see the live musical.

Tickets are available online at; prices start at $10.

In a rehearsal for Batavia High School’s production of “9 to 5: the Musical,” Judy Bernly and Doralee Rhodes give their boss, Mr. Franklin Hart, a hard time. Courtesy of Steven Lemon
Junior Kelsey Skomer, who plays Violet Newstead, gives senior Connor Frederick, who plays Mr. Franklin Hart, a piece of her mind, during a rehearsal for “9 to 5: the Musical.” courtesy of Steven Lemon

If you go

What: Batavia High School’s production of “9 to 5: the Musical”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8, 9 and 10

Where: Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia

Tickets: $10-$11; purchase online or at the box office

Details: (630) 937-8930 or <a href=""></a>

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