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Dolly Parton takes "9 to 5" to Broadway

 Dolly Parton attends the party following the opening night of
Dolly Parton attends the party following the opening night of '9 to 5: The Musical' in Los Angeles September 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
— image credit: Reuters

By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - The jitters are starting to hit Dolly Parton a bit as she prepares "9 to 5: The Musical" for its Broadway debut.

"I'm anxious about it," the country music legend told Billboard.com. Parton, who co-starred in the 1980 film, wrote the score for the production -- including the new song "Backwoods Barbie," which is also the title of her latest album -- while co-screenwriter Patricia Resnick wrote the book. It begins previews on April 7 at the Marquis Theater after a fall workshop run in Los Angeles, with the formal premiere slated for April 30.

"I've been working on this for four years," Parton says, "and the thing about Broadway is you could work four years and close the next night -- or never open at all. Everything's a chance."

Nevertheless, Parton says that the musical "was fun for me. It's a different process. I had much more freedom writing for the stage than I do for records. But it's very time-consuming." She also added that she'd "like to have my own life story done as a musical on Broadway someday."

"9 to 5: The Musical" isn't the only thing Parton is hawking these days. She's linked up with the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant chain for a series of special products. The "Backwoods Barbie - Collector's Edition" CD features adds three new songs to the original album, while "The Official Collector's Edition Dolly Parton Photo Album" is a hardcover book filled with images from throughout her career. The chain is also adding a special pink Parton rocking chair to its trademark product, in a numbered limited edition of 1,350.

Parton says she was impressed by what Cracker Barrel has done with products for colleagues such as Alison Krauss and Kenny Rogers and reflects "the family values and that country feel of...me being a girl from the Tennessee Smoky Mountains."

Parton will also be featured in an acoustic performance on March 31 for "Unplugged At Studio 330" at www.CMT.com (http://www.CMT.com), but with the "Backwoods Barbie" track just out as a new single, she say sit may be awhile before she starts working on a follow-up to the album that returned to her country roots.

"This is the fourth single off of the CD," Parton notes, "and we purposely held it until the '9 to 5' musical because 'Backwoods Barbie' is the only country song in the score. I'll always be doing lots of country things, but I'm never exactly sure exactly what I want to do next because I just kind of wait to see what's going on in my life and what I feel from the fans. If the '9 to 5' musical should be a hit there's several songs in there I'd like to do (myself) and bring out and make an album like that. We'll just have to see."

(Editing by Dean Goodman at Reuters)

(please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)

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