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From 'Wicked' to '9 to 5' to 'Wicked' to '9 to 5'

October 16, 2008 | 11:00 am

Doralee In "9 to 5: The Musical," Megan Hilty plays Doralee Rhodes, the bubbly, country-tinged secretary who is mocked and shunned by her co-workers because they think she's having an affair with the boss. Eventually, the office workers find they share a common bond -- an intense dislike for their boss -- and become good friends.

Before taking on the role made famous by Dolly Parton in the 1980 film version of "9 to 5," Hilty starred in the musical "Wicked" at the Pantages Theatre, playing Glinda, the bubbly, uber-popular girl who mocks and shuns her green-skinned roommate, Elphaba. Eventually, they find a common bond and become good friends.

When the curtain goes down Sunday on the pre-Broadway run of "9 to 5" at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A., audiences won't have to say goodbye to Hilty. She'll return to "Wicked" beginning Oct. 31, reprising the role she originated at the Pantages in Hollywood with co-star Eden Espinosa. Hilty and Espinosa will remain in the show through Jan. 11, when "Wicked" ends its L.A. run.

And after that? It's back to the "9 to 5" office grind for Hilty, who will again don her Doralee duds and reunite with director Joe Mantello (who also staged "Wicked") and co-stars Allison Janney and Stephanie J. Block (another "Wicked" alumnus) to prepare for the musical's Broadway run. The show is scheduled to begin previews April 7, with the big opening scheduled for April 30 at the Marquis Theatre in New York.

If, for any reason, things don't work out with "9 to 5" on Broadway, Hilty can always go back to "Wicked," which continues its blockbuster run at the Gershwin Theatre about six blocks north of the Marquis.

-- Lisa Fung

Glinda

Top photo: Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch in "9 to 5: The Musical" at the Ahmanson Theatre. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty in "Wicked" at the Pantages Theatre. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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