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Dolly Parton

March 25, 2008

By David Lefkowitz

The odds are right, say 9 to 5: Dolly Parton's musical version of the hit movie, will make its debut at the Center Theater Group's Ahmanson Theater come September 3 thru October 19.

One musical has been on a Broadway fast-track, another seemed to be moribund years ago, but now both Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The musical and Charles Strouse's The Night They Raided Minsky's will see their premieres in the months ahead.

The Parton show, based on the hit film in which she starred, will debut at Center Theater Group's Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, Sept. 3-Oct. 19, officially opening Sept. 20. Marc Kudisch will star in the Dabney Coleman role of a sexist boss getting his comeuppance at the hands of his secretarial staff (which will include Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty). Patricia Resnick, who co-wrote the 1980 screenplay, is penning the book. Should the Joe Mantello-helmed tuner make the audience's blood start pumpin', Broadway will be a surety in early 2009.

Meanwhile, Minsky's, the newly-retitled musical based on William Friedkin's 1968 film, The Night They Raided Minsky's, will also get its first staging at the Ahmanson. Originally planned for the L.A. theater back in 2004, the show went the way of burlesque when co-creator Mike Ockrent passed away, as did book writer Evan Hunter. But since then, Bob Martin of Drowsy Chaperone fame, has signed on to write a new book, with Strouse and lyricist Susan Birkenhead still in charge of the score. Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph the show's world premiere Jan. 21-March 1, 2009. Look for co-producer Bob Boyett to eye Broadway should Minsky be a hitsky.

Also on tap for the 2008-09 CTG season are the tour of Duncan Sheik's spring Awakening , Oct. 29-Dec. 7 Stacy Keach playing Tricky Dick in the Frost/Nixon tour (March 11-29) a homegrown, 30th anniversary production of Ain't Misbehavin' and a visit from Dame Edna on her First Last Tour (June 9-21). Come 2009-10, CTG will also get its own limited engagement (Nov. 2009) of the Sherman Brothers' tuner, Mary Poppins in conjunction with Disney Theatricals.