DeGarmo to star in musical

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

On stage this week at the Fox Theatre, former Snellville resident Diana DeGarmo will look very different from the 16-year-old girl who placed second in season three of "American Idol."

For one, at 23, DeGarmo is all grown up. And second, the raven-haired DeGarmo, playing the role of Doralee Rhodes originated by Dolly Parton in "9 to 5: The Musical," will be a blonde.

The touring production of "9 to 5" will bring DeGarmo, who now lives in Nashville and hopes to release a country album before the end of the year, to Atlanta for an eight-show engagement at the Fox Theatre.

When the Broadway production of "Hair" overlapped with the beginning of the tour, DeGarmo thought playing the role of Doralee just wasn't meant to be.

A month after her agent passed on an audition for the role, "Hair" got its closing notice. DeGarmo's agent immediately reached out to casting agents with "9 to 5" only to learn the role was cast just the day before. A disappointment for DeGarmo.

A week later, the woman cast as Doralee had to leave the show for personal reasons and the role came open again. After what DeGarmo said was one of her best auditions ever, which was taped and sent off to Parton herself for approval, DeGarmo was cast as ambitious secretary Doralee.

"It was kind of one of these things that the stars kind of aligned," she said.

The musical comedy follows three unlikely friends who conspire to take control of the company they work for and learn there's nothing they can't do, even in a world dominated by men.

"Being able to come with this big, huge professional production is very exciting," DeGarmo said. "To come with a show like '9 to 5,' it's so well known and even though a lot of people have never seen a production they know what the movie is, they know the songs."

DeGarmo's mother, who still lives in Snellville, as well as friends and family from the metro Atlanta area, will attend a show.

"A lot of my friends that are in Georgia, who will more than likely never get to come to New York to see me do something, get to come to the Fox," she said. "It's my hometown. To get a chance to perform on your hometown stage, it's always exciting."

To purchase tickets for "9 to 5: The Musical," call Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.