It was 1980 when the movie made waves, pitting secretaries Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin against their sexist, insufferable boss. Now it’s a full-blown Dolly musical, complete with country-tinged songs and the whole outrageous wardrobe.
This stage version has the benefit of a book by the film’s original scriptwriter Patricia Resnick, which makes it snappy, sassy and smart. And there’s even an appearance by Dolly herself, courtesy of a projection high above the stage, from which she explains and comments on the action, as well as pitching in a rousing finale of the title song.
The cast are relentlessly energetic – not to say manic – in their choreographed routines by director Jeff Calhoun and his sidekick Lisa Stevens, while the eight-strong pit band under Mark Crossland keep toes tapping reliably throughout.
It’s all harmless, frothy stuff, if a little less than the stereotype-smashing icon it would like to be, while Dolly’s songs are largely adequate without being memorable. Enjoy it with the heavy coating of sparkle that’s been added to make it a Broadway show, and it’s a fun night out.