UPDATE: Turns out this kept happening in previews again and again, and Dolly Parton kept singing to the audience again and again. Either 9 to 5 has the worst set problems of any stage musical, or this is just a sly PR gimmick. Phooey.
MIDNIGHT: KTLA Channel 5’s Sam Rubin just emailed me to say that he was attending the world premiere of the stage musical 9 To 5 when Dolly Parton saved her show’s opening night by performing impromptu from the audience. Parton starred in the original 1979 Nine To Five movie, then wrote the songs for the Broadway-bound version. But Saturday night’s performance at L.A.’s Ahmanson Theater stopped 15 minutes in because of technical difficulties. That’s when Parton stood up from her seat and said: “If they can’t perform the show, I’ll do some of it from right here,” and led a sing-a-long of the title song. While power drills and electric saws buzzed from backstage, Dolly kept the audience amused for 20 minutes until the performance resumed. Now that’s showbiz at its finest.