Dolly Parton saves the night: ‘9 to 5′ musical premiere snafu

Dolly Parton stepped up and entertained a star-studded crowd at the Los Angeles premiere of “9 to 5″, a musical based on the eponymous hit movie that starred the country star.

A local Los Angeles TV news affiliate noted that Parton wasted no time on Saturday night at the Ahmanson Theatre when curtains abruptly came down and “technical difficulties” stopped the show cold.

During the world premiere of the pre-Broadway run of the musical “9 to 5,” Dolly stood up and decided to take matters into her own hands in what was described as a completely “impromptu” performance.

Also at the premiere were “9 to 5″ co-stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman; on hand to see the Broadway Bound musical based on the movie from 1980.

Actors Gabriel Byrne, Tracey Ullman, Blythe Danner and Jason Alexander were also reported to be there.

“9 to 5″ went on as planned until nearly the end of Act 1, when it suddenly stopped. Parton, in the orchestra section, immediately leaped into action according to those in attendance. Standing in front of the stage, she chatted up the audience and took questions. She then led them in a sing-along to the show’s theme song, “9 to 5.”

Reportedly Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block and Megan Hilty; playing the roles Tomlin, Fonda and Parton made famous in the movie, were in a scene change, when the curtain came down and an announcer informed the stunned audience that the show would be stopped for a few minutes because of some technical problems.

The audience cheered when Parton stood-up right from her seat in the middle of the theater and said; “If they can’t perform the show, I’ll do some of it from right here.”  Parton then proceeded to lead the entire audience in a sing-a-long version of the title song ‘9 to 5.’ A rousing ovation from the crowd fueled Dolly to continue despite construction equipment at work to fix whatever the problem was.

As the delay continued, Parton reportedly talked to the audience; and then asked if the audience would like for her to sing another song; ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Before beginning the second number Dolly told the crowd, “Maybe I’ll wait, in case things get screwed up again and I have to fill more time.”

It was approximately 20 minutes of Dolly’s improvised “set” before the show resumed.

The world premiere musical features Allison Janney (as Lily Tomlin’s role), Megan Hilty (as Dolly Parton), Stephanie J. Block (as Jane Fonda) and Marc Kudisch (as Dabney Coleman), and opens Sept. 20.

The musical is then slated for an April 2009 opening on Broadway.

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