Thoroughly Modern Millie is one of those musicals that totally engages the audience, and the audience is transported into the world of Millie Dillmount in the 1920s in New York City. The show has big dance numbers, powerful voices, a couple plot lines, and likable characters. If done correctly Thoroughly Modern Millie is delightful and captivating, and captures the audiences’ attention and hearts. Popovsky Performing Arts Studio’s Thoroughly Modern Millie successfully produces a fantastic production of the show that will capture audiences’ hearts and will have them tapping their feet with the show.
Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of Millie Dillmount, a young woman from Kansas who arrives in New York City to become a thoroughly modern young woman. She trades her long dress for an above the knee flapper-dress and her story shows how she evolves from a small town girl to a New York modern woman. The musical is based on a 1967 movie of the same name that starred Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing. The book for Thoroughly Modern Millie was written by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan. The music is by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan wrote the lyrics. The show opened on Broadway in 2002, and won six Tony awards including best musical.
Popovsky Performing Arts Studio’s (PPAS) production of Thoroughly Modern Millie is full of heart and enthusiasm. Lauren Ritter plays Millie Dillmount and she is passionate and excellent in this role. Ritter’s vocals and dancing are strong throughout the show, but her best number is “Gimme Gimme.” This song is full of zeal, and shows off Ritter’s talents. Jimmy Smith, a clean-cut youngster who fancies Miss Dillmount, is portrayed by Brett Trout. Trout’s rendition of “What Do I Need with Love” exudes with fervor and highlights Trout’s vocals. Millie’s boss, Trevor Graydon III, is played by Brenton Megee. Megee is wonderful as the wealthy boss of Sincere Insurance Trust Co, and he has a rich voice that is perfect for his songs throughout the show. Lydia Jones plays Miss Dorothy, an actress from California who is also best friends with Millie. Jones and Megee’s duet, “Falling in Love with Someone” was perfect. This song had the audience members giving an enthusiastic round of applause. Kerry Cain portrays Mrs. Meers, the owner of Hotel Pricilla where all the young actresses in the show reside. Cain adds humor and has some fabulous dialogue throughout the show. Cain is a big presence on stage and she does not disappoint in this role, and her solo “They Don’t Know” is over the top and amusing. Mrs. Meers’s sidekicks, Ching Ho and Bun Foo, played by Caleb Heckman and Sarah Fieger, add additional humor to the show and their performance should not be missed. Muzzy Van Hossmere, a well-known singer, is played by Molly Swan. Swan is assertive in this role and is seamless in her acting and vocals. Miss Flannery, the head stenographer at Sincere Insurance Trust Co, is played by Sue Steffy. Flannery brings a zany and strong personality to the character, and he solo in “Forget About the Boy” makes the song fun and spirited. Rounding out this cast is the group of actresses that reside at the Hotel Pricilla with Millie. These girls Gloria, Alice, Rita, Ruth, and Ethel, are played by Julia Gyroy, Katrina Wachter, Mary Lynn Greger, Becca Goebel, and Brie Dina. These actors round out this fabulous cast and add a sense of camaraderie between all the girls living in the hotel. In addition, the scene at the speakeasy was very entertaining.
Making her directorial debut for Thoroughly Modern Millie is Jessica Dey. Dey deserves a round of applause for putting this wonderful show together, as does the producer of this show, Michael Popovsky. Meredith Nicholson is the costume designer for this show, and Derek Martin serves as the musical director.
If you have never seen Thoroughly Modern Millie or are a fan of this show, this production by PPAS will not disappoint. It is full of passion, enthusiast and very talented individuals. This show runs for one more day, August 10, 2013. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.popovskyperformingarts.com.
Final Thought: PPAS’s cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie is charming, energetic, and talented. Do not miss an opportunity to see this wonderful musical and escape to the world of Millie Dillmount during the 1920s in New York City.
Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she writes for the online sites broadwayworld.com and figlancaster.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.