Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP) has hit a home run with the debut of the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater this summer. As Artistic Director Tim Perrino announces from the stage most evenings, the three-show season will record 45 straight sold-out performances. Perrino and his crew have built a functional, attractive venue and programmed it mostly with shows to attract audiences CLP has catered to over the years with productions on the Showboat Majestic and at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. The first two Incline shows this summer got it right — an ebullient staging of The Producers, the tongue-in-cheek celebration of showbiz, and a passionate rendition of 1776, a seldom-produced but engaging show about the founding fathers of American independence.
I’m sorry to say that the summer’s final offering doesn’t measure up to its predecessors. 9 to 5 is a 2009 musical based on the 1980 film featuring Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The film succeeded because of their star power; the story of women being held back and put down by a chauvinistic boss was more timely 35 years ago — although some of those challenges are still with us. But the musical, using more than a dozen tunes by Parton, is stuck in another era. (It only lasted for four months on Broadway and lost $14 million.) If this show had opened at the Incline back in June, I’m guessing the demand for tickets for the balance of the season would have been considerably less. Read the full review here.