Dolly Parton,Lily Tomlin,Jane Fonda

If you had to name just one star of Nine to Five, who would it be?

If you’ve replied Jane Fonda or Lily Tomlin, then I despair. You clearly take the 9 to 5 too seriously and don’t get out much because everyone knows that today the one star associated with this film has to be Dolly Parton.

I know back in the day (1980) Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were much bigger than Parton (although not up front of course) and I also know that strictly speaking this battle of the sexes comedy is about three women joining forces to get revenge on their male chauvinist boss and it therefore has three leading roles.

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin,Jane Fonda,Dabney Coleman

But, let’s face it, whose song do we start singing whenever this film is mentioned? Yes, Dolly might have only been known to country music fans and those from the American south back when she stared in this, but since then she’s done a pretty amazing job of making herself known globally (I’m talking about her international appeal, not her cup size). And she’s also done an equally impressive job of making Nine to Five her own.

It was her first film and she described it herself as the perfect role for her to break into movies. In her 1994 autobiography, Dolly says, ”the whole experience of Nine to Five was a joy,” and clearly she just wants to carry on living that joy because she’s now made it her first Broadway musical too. Yes, Dolly Parton, that little lady with the big talent and painted fingernails in so many pies, has now written the music and lyrics for 9 to 5: The Musical which opens on Broadway on 30th April.

That’s just in time for my 40th birthday in May, and what a great present that would be. Anyone want to treat me?

I’ve heard a few of the songs and they’re brilliant. It goes without saying that Nine to Five is one of them and that’s already one of my favourite songs of all time.

Another biggie is Backwoods Barbie (the title track of Dolly’s most recent album). It’s a track written for Doralee – the character Parton plays in the film – and here are some of the lyrics: 

I’ve always been misunderstood because of how I look. Don’t judge me by the cover ’cause I’m a real good book. So read into it what you will, but see me as I am. The way I look is just a country girl’s idea of glam.

If you’re now thinking that those lines could be about Dolly Parton herself then you’d be right. The Doralee character was in fact based on Dolly, so, yes, the song is autobiographical and the  official music video here certainly proves it:

Another song that’s growing on me rapidly is Shine Like the Sun. It not only sets my feet tapping, but it also features some up front lyrics about Doralee that have DD… oops, I mean DP written all over them

So how about it? I’m only 40 once after all…

OK, OK, I know. A trip to New York is rather an expensive birthday gift. Ah well, I guess I’ll just have to look enviously across the pond and hope that it will eventually come to London’s West End. It’s enough to drive me crazy if I let it.

Enjoy the film tonight, but in the meantime check out the musical’s website where you can not only hear some of the songs that I’ve mentioned above, but you can also receive Dolly’s help in getting revenge on your boss and have her pay an e-visit to your friends to brighten up their 9 to 5. For all that and much more, click here.