Thoroughly Modern Millie (musical)

Thoroughly Modern Millie (musical)
Thoroughly Modern Millie (musical)

Just imagine it’s 1922. A time when across the seas one in four people in the world are under the rule of the British Empire, Pope Pius succeeds Pope Benedict as the 259th Pope,  Dracula appears on film for the first time in a German film called Nosferatu and the Soviet Union is born.

Meanwhile here in the statesprohibition is in full effect, but American is still booming with progress.  There are mightily works of stone and steel like, the US Navy commissioning the world’s first Aircraft Carrier, The Hollywood Bowl opens for business and the Lincoln Memorial is dedicated.  Radio is making the world a smaller place every day while stations like; WLW in Cincinnati, KGU in Hawaii, and even the BBC are signing on the air for the very first time. President Harding himself introduced the first radio into the White House this year and even began broadcasting the first ever Presidential radio address. Meanwhile at the heart of it all is America’s crowning jewel, New York City who was in the news for beginning construction on Yankee Stadium, hailed as a one-of-a-kind facility in the country for its enormous size.

It’s no wonder this is when we find the young Miss Millie Dillmount on her way from Kansas to New York to find herself, fulfill her modern ambitions and hitch her wagon to a wealthy business man to finance it all.

Thoroughly Modern Millie opened at the Marquis Theater on 4/18/2002 & won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Musical.  Derived from RICHARD MORRIS’s 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie the Musical is the brain child of JEANINE TESORI and DICK SCANLAN.

When Scanlan first contacted Richard Morris about the gaining the rights to convert his movie to a musical Morris simply answered “no”.  Scanlan was not deterred and proceeded to write down his ideas anyway.  Patience and persistence eventually paid off and Mr. Morris gave his much needed blessing to the project.

Michael Mayer was chosen to direct the Broadway production and described the story as paralleling The Wizard of Oz.  She comes from Kansas to the Emerald City…to find her heart’s desire – or what she thinks is her heart’s desire.

Often referred to as rock operas, most of the mega musicals proceeding Millie in the 1990’s were entirely sung.  Scanlan decided to return to a more traditional style with scenes and songs for his production and cast the young and unexperienced Sutton Foster as his Millie.  Both decision were a big gamble and both paid off.  Not only did long shot the musical win several awards, but Foster herself carried home a Tony for her performance.  Ironically the predicted winner for the 2002 Best Musical was the loudly hailed and critically acclaimed Urinetown staring none other than Sutton Foster’s Brother, Hunter Foster.  Talk about a sibling rivalry.

by Chad Hembree, Director
Spotlight Acting School

Spotlight Acting School Performances
2009 – Berea (Madison Southern HS)
2014 – Richmond (Madison Middle Auditorium)

Based on the 1967 movie of the same name.

New Music by Jeanine Tesori

New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Book by Dick Scanlan and Richard Henry Morris
Original Story and Screenplay by Richard Morris for the Universal Pictures Film

Marquis Theatre – New York
Opening Date:April 18, 2002
Closing Date:June 20, 2004

Principal Characters

BUN FOO – A Chinese immigrant working to bring his mother to the United States. Older brother of Ching Ho and henchman to Mrs. Meers. Sings and speaks in chinese.
Male, 20-30 yrs old
Range: E3 – E4

CHING HO – A Chinese immigrant working to bring his mother to the United States. Younger brother of Bun Foo and henchman to Mrs. Meers. Sings and speaks in chinese.
Male, 18-25 yrs old
Range: Bb2 – E4

JIMMY SMITH – A suave city slicker who unexpectedly becomes the story’s hero. He falls in love with Millie.
Male, 20-30 yrs old
Range: C3 – A4

MILLIE DILLMOUNT – A spunky, modern woman trying to make it in New York City. She falls in love with Jimmy. Our story’s protagonist.
Female, 20-25 yrs old
Range: G#3 – E5

MISS DOROTHY BROWN – A naive, wealthy girl who has moved to New York to change her lifestyle. She becomes Millie’s roommate and confidant.
Female, 20-25 yrs old
Range: B3 – C6

MISS FLANNERY – An uptight, stern office manager. She runs the stenographer pool at Sincere Trust Insurance Company.
Female, 35-45 yrs old
Range: Bb3 – D5

MRS. MEERS – A former actress turned human trafficker pretending to be a kindly chinese woman. She oversees the Hotel Priscilla where she secretly sells her tenants.
Female, 45-55 yrs old
Range: E3 – Bb4

MUZZY VAN HOSSMERE – A glamorous actress and singer at a night club. She becomes Millie’s friend and mentor.
Female, 35-45 yrs old
Range: G#3 – D5

TREVOR GRAYDON – An executive at the Sincere Trust Insurance Company. He is sharp, ambitious, and secretly romantic.
Male, 30-40 yrs old
Range: A2 – G4





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