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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Review: ‘9 to 5: The Musical’ brings laughs and stellar performances

Astoundingly amazing performances took place for two weekends worth of shows.

<p><em>9 to 5 The Musical</em> was shown at UB.</p>

9 to 5 The Musical was shown at UB.

Tumbling out of bed, I stumbled right into the Center for the Arts (CFA)  for a performance of “9 to 5” presented by UB’s Department of Theater and Dance. The show had stellar numbers, including outstanding vocal performances and dances and comical moments that had the crowd roaring with laughter.

The musical starts and ends with Dolly Parton, country songwriter and activist, on a video screen welcoming the crowd for coming and starts the show on a high. 

The three female leads — Violet, Doralee and Judy — performed by Sophia Vessecchia, Kyra Orgass, and Hannah Countermine, respectively, stole the show. Their vocal performances left the crowd cheering after all their numbers.

The trio’s confident and classy performances showcased best the theme of the musical: female empowerment Their power was insurmountable, but especially when the three of them were on stage together.

“Get Out and Stay Out”, a song that comes towards the very end of the show caused a roar throughout the crowd as Countermine belted towards the end. Her vocal delivery was flawless and proved her to be a star in the making.

Stage manager Elisabetta Antonacci is very proud of the show and the work of her peers. 

“I’m just so proud of everyone who was involved in this production.” she said. “It turned out so wonderful and I just hope that everyone is as proud as I am of the work that they put forward for it.” 

Another cool feature were the American Sign Language interpreters that were at the May 4 matinee show. Antonacci says the move to include the interpreters came from a situation where the grandparents of a cast member who attended a previous musical  were deaf. By having them there for that performance, Antonacci said that everyone involved came to the realization that that is something that should be offered for all future performances. 

“Let’s make that a regular thing,” she said. Ryan Butler gave a fantastic performance asFranklin Hart Jr. His number “Here For You (Reprise)” made the crowd roar with applause. Butler portrayed his character’s confidence so wonderfully — especially  because he fully committed to a somewhat seductive dance.

“It definitely was a little nerve-wracking because you want your audience to hate the character but also think he’s funny at the same time,” Butler said about the number. “I think I was able to find a good balance though.”

The rigorous rehearsal schedule to put together such a large scale production, started in early March. Antonacci and Butler both say that it wasn’t until about two weeks prior to the show’s opening date that they moved into the theater where the show took place. Butler says that this is where they “perfected the show.”

The show drew in crowds for both its weekends and showcased stars in the making. The future is bright for these performers.

Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at 


Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor for The Spectrum. His hobbies include playing guitar, working out and reading. He can be found on Instagram @joshpawlik 



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