Dolly Parton is appearing on "American Idol" this week (Wednesday night, for all you "AI" fans). But the news that really made us sit up in our seats while reading this Entertainment Weekly article is that "9 to 5" is headed to Broadway.

Yes, the film starring Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda that shook up theater-goers in 1980 with its look at office sexism (could it have been that long ago?) has been turned into a musical, with Parton herself contributing most of the original songs.

And that's not the half of it —

Maybe you don't know that it'll be directed by Joe Mantello, the hottest helmer in New York, thanks to his triumph with Wicked. You're probably not yet aware that it'll star Allison Janney in the Tomlin role; Megan Hilty (currently doing a great Glinda in the L.A. cast of Wicked) in the Parton part; Stephanie J. Block (currently Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway) in the Fonda role; and one of the theater's best-liked actors, Mark Kudisch, in the slot that was occupied by Dabney Coleman in the movie. The book is by Patricia Resnick, the frequent Robert Altman collaborator, who also wrote the 9 to 5 screenplay three decades ago.

We couldn't be more thrilled to see Janney and the rest of this cast. And as Janney told EW, she's pretty excited herself:

Janney, meanwhile, sang the 9 to 5 songs at a workshop this past summer, and she's champing at the bit to start rehearsals in July for the show, which premieres at L.A.'s cavernous Ahmanson in September before moving on to Broadway next February. "I wanted to see if I felt confident," said the star of The West Wing and Juno. "I like to sing, but I've not been in a musical in quite some time, and never on Broadway" (though she got a Tony nomination for her work in an — obviously — non-musical Arthur Miller play, A View from the Bridge). "I was in Hairspray, the movie, but I didn't get to sing. I wanted to see how I felt before I committed, and I fell in love with it."

So, the big question: Is Allison Janney a belter, and she just didn't know it? "I totally am!" she said, straightening up in her seat with a big grin. "You are gonna hear me — and you're gonna enjoy it."

Plus: Here's a look at more cast photos of the Broadway-bound musical taken during a preview presentation at L.A.'s House of Blues.

Christine C.

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