Wildwood Summer Theatre Thoroughly Modern MillieBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jul 26th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the Wildwood Summer Theatre’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie [MP3 5:02 1.4MB].
Mike: Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical. Music by Jeanine Tesori. Lyrics by Dick Scanlon. Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan. It is based on the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie. It tells the story of a small town girl, Millie Dilmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money, not love, which was a thoroughly modern aim in 1922 when women were just entering the work force. Millie really enjoys the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by the leader of a white slavery ring in China.
Laura: There was lots of really good dancing in this show, also good singing. There were some sound problems in the second act. I don’t know if something happened at intermission, but there were a few times when some of the actors started talking and then their microphones would come on. Other than that everything went smoothly. The set was good and I just really liked the high energy. These kids just looked like they were really having a good time.
Mike: Wildwood Summer Theatre is made up of people only up to age 25. It’s a pretty good group effort that goes into the show. The group works together the whole year to come up with one summer production for three weekends. I think they’ve done a good job with Thoroughly Modern Millie. There were some minor lighting issues as well, but the set was gorgeous, the dancing was really good, and everything else worked out to be a great show.
Laura: Millie Dilmount, the young woman who is moving from Kansas to make her way in the high city life in New York City was played by Carolyn Walter. She did a good job. She started out with a real innocence and then just kind of threw herself into the New York City lifestyle. She had her goals in mind. She was going to marry her boss even though she hadn’t gotten a job yet or met the boss that she was going to marry. She had everything set out. Then, as does happen in life, things don’t go according to how you think they’re going to go and she ended up meeting someone else.
Mike: Shortly after arriving in New York City, Millie is robbed of her luggage and her shoe. She tries to get help. She trips Jimmy played by Timothy J. Crowley. He explains to her that you just don’t trip people and she should go back to where she came from. Their paths keep crossing as the show progresses. Jimmy is a paper clip salesman who is pleased with living life as it happens. He doesn’t really have a plan. Of course Millie has a plan. She wants to marry her boss so she’ll be rich and happy, love doesn’t really enter into it. As the two of them keep interacting, they gradually fall in love. That process worked really well. You could see the concern that Jimmy had for Millie as they got to know each other much better. Jimmy had a nice song, “What Do I Need With Love” where he was fighting with himself about how he should feel about Millie. I think he did a good job.
Laura: Millie’s next door neighbor, Miss Dorothy Brown, was played by Erin Branigan. She did a good job. She had a real innocence about her when she came to New York. She was kind of starry eyed and wanting to experience everything. She had some nice dance numbers. She also had a nice strong voice. I enjoyed her performance.
Mike: The entire cast worked very well together. It was a large cast with a lot of dancing. A lot of different scene changes. It was a pretty complex show to put together. I think it worked out very well.
Laura: The choreography was very nice. The Choreographer was Kristina Friedgen. It had some pretty complex show numbers. The only thing that was kind of funny was several of the dancers kept losing their hats throughout the show. There was one scene early on where I kept waiting for the hat to go flying into the orchestra. That was kind of funny, but they all did a good job.
Mike: The set was very nice. There were a lot of different piece that would spin around and would open up to reveal different sets. It was very flexible and very nicely done. The Scenic Designer was Kathryn Pong. She did a great job. I liked especially how one unit could be turned around 180 degrees and you would have an entirely different scene, then you could open it up and you would have another scene. That was a great use of resources and space.
Laura: Thoroughly Modern Millie was approximately two hours and forty minutes with one intermission.
Mike: It’s playing at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland through August 4. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday the 29th at 2.
Laura: This was a show that’s suitable for families and children. I think you’ll really enjoy it if you go see this show.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.