note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Janine de Souza
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, The Company Theatre’s latest production, proves that laughs never go out of style!
Set in the 1920’s, Millie Dillmount (Becky Geggett), a wide-eyed small town girl, moves to the Big Apple. She’s ready to take New York by storm! Unfortunately, New York has a couple of surprises for her when a thief suddenly swipes her wallet, leaving her destitute. Millie soon checks into Hotel Priscilla. There, you can check in…but you can’t always check out! The story unfolds hilariously as Miss Meers (Juliana Dennis), resident Dragon Lady and white slavery ringleader, sells her downtrodden and orphaned cliental to the highest bidder in the Far East. Later, quick-thinking Millie and her newfound friends unravel the ring and rescue Miss Dorothy Brown (Kristen Huberdeau), who is Meers’ next unwitting victim. In the end though, some things never change! Even modern Millie falls in love the old-fashioned way.
What makes THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE refreshingly different and modern (pun intended) is the screen above the stage translating the lyrics for the multi-symbolic song, “Not for the Life of Me,” in Chinese and later Al Jolson’s “Mammy” sung by Miss Meers’ two hard-working immigrant employees, Ching Ho (Paul Brennan III) and Bun Foo (Michael Lemma). But this nod to technology is counterbalanced by the exceptional tap dancing of the ensemble who skillfully hoof their way through the entertaining period music. Other stand out numbers energetically sung by the talented cast were “How the Other Half Lives” (Millie and Miss Dorothy Brown), “The Speed Test” (Millie and her boss, Mr. Trevor Graydon, played to the hilt by Shane Donovan), “Gimme Gimme” (Millie), “Forget About the Boy” (Millie and the office secretaries), and “Only in New York” (Muzzy van Hossmere powerfully portrayed by Markesha McCoy). One of my favorite moments of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE was the “love at first sight” meeting between Miss Dorothy Brown and Mr. Trevor Graydon. Both actors bring down the house with their perfect chemistry and comedic timing. Thoroughly funny! Adept direction by Michael Joseph keeps the laughs coming.
So go see THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at The Company Theatre in Norwell. It only plays until August 17th. Catch it now before the good old days are over!