Thoroughly Modern Millie Review


Ethan Sutton

Jimmy Baton (Grayden) dances for the audience.

Greta Everett, Staff Writer

Thoroughly Modern Millie is based off a movie adaptation of the book Thoroughly Modern Millie by Richard Morris and Scanlan. The musical tells the story of Millie Dillmount (Adelle Remke ), a young woman from Kansas who moves to the Big Apple in hopes of marrying a wealthy man. Upon her arrival, she is mugged and soon after meets Jimmy Smith (Jonathan Lambert), a penniless, paper-clip salesman that advises her to go back to Kansas. When Millie refuses, he gives her the address of the Hotel Priscilla, a home for struggling actresses, many of whom also happen to be orphans.


The musical performance in this production may be the most powerful element. The strong voices of many of the cast members is only made better by the pit orchestra (conducted by Curtis Black). The colorful jazz of the 20s era is perfectly replicated by the players and the actors. Muzzy Van Hossmere (Hannah Richards), a wealthy singer in New York, and Mr. Trevor Graydon (James Barton), Millie’s boss, both give stunning musical performances. However, the supporting cast members are just as talented. Miss Dorothy Brown (Merinda Gillette), Millie’s friend and roommate, and the actors that make up the different choruses throughout all have beautiful voices that accurately imitate 20s jazz. 


The choreography is also well-done. The actors and chorus were able to expertly tap their toes in accompaniment to the music. It was heavily apparent that the students cared about performing at their very best. 


“There was rehearsal every day, but on my own time I would practice my choreography,” Luke Allen (Kenneth) said.


The speakeasy scene was a great example of the cast’s talent. This scene wasn’t fixated on dialogue and singing, because it wasn’t required. The dancing was the substitute for speaking, and it was executed well. 


When it came to the acting, no character was over-the-top or obnoxious. Considering that this musical requires largely extroverted cast members who can balance the fine line of being lively and energetic but not unbelievably dramatic, the actors of Highland were able to walk this line effortlessly. The performances of Muzzy and Trevor Grayden were the most captivating. Muzzy’s confident approach to the character and Grayden’s physical comedy blended into the play flawlessly. Ms. Meers (Rebekah Lingen ), the owner of Hotel Priscilla and the cause of the disappearing orphans, also gives a solid performance. Her ability to flip back and forth between an evil failed actress and a sweet old lady on a dime should be respected as well. 


Highland’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie was well-directed, had a strong musical accompaniment, and cast several talented students to be a part of a musical that is known for its difficulty in musical and dance performances.