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Clayton High School Thoroughly Modern Millie

By • Feb 6th, 2013 • Category: Cappies, Missouri

Perfectly embodying the lively spirit of the roaring twenties, Clayton High School delivered a lovely performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Millie Dillmount, a confident young woman with dreams too great for her hometown of Kansas, packs her bags and moves to New York City. Eager to find success and marry a rich boss, Millie is ecstatic when she lands a job as a stenographer. Residing at the Hotel Priscilla, Millie encounters the evil yet quirky owner Mrs. Meers, who secretly kidnaps naïve orphan girls and ships them to the white slavery ring in China. Clayton’s fantastic cast gave the audience a great show, earning much-deserved laughs.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, based on the 1967 film of the same name, opened on Broadway in April of 2002. The epitome of a feel-good musical, it went on to win six Tony Awards, playing over 900 performances on the Great White Way. Becoming accustomed to the flapper life, Millie embarks on countless adventures in the Big Apple, while meeting trustworthy friends and even falling in love along the way.

Talent was certainly not lacking in this fabulous production. Emily Gudmestad (Millie) dazzled the audience with her enthusiastic and believable portrayal of the title character. Her love interest, Ben Diamond (Jimmy), delivered his charming lines with ease, impressing the audience with his stellar vocals. It was a joy to watch the relationship between his character and Millie develop. James Kerr (Trevor Graydon) especially stood out with his incredible stage presence and ability to make his character truly memorable by engaging the audience in laughter. His hilarious number with Millie’s new best friend Claire Lisker (Dorothy) certainly stood out, for their comedic timing was nothing short of spot-on.

Mrs. Meers (Caroline Kidwell) portrayed her scheming character with conviction. The two Chinese immigrants, Ching Ho (Sam Stern) and Bun Foo (Robbie Love) were extremely likable, for the audience could not help but fall in love with the pair’s comedic dynamic.

The colorful costumes fit the time period perfectly, adding to the signature “flapper” look of the twenties. Though overpowered by the orchestra at times, the ensemble brought life and energy to the stage, immediately engaging the audience. Especially notable were the beautiful sets, making the audience feel as if they were part of the scene. The props were also impressive, especially the many typewriters in the office.

The energy of the cast truly brought the show to life. Each performer made a unique contribution to the impressive production.

The upbeat musical numbers, complete with awesome dance moves, never failed to capture the attention of the crowd. Clayton’s excellent cast definitely shone during their performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie, providing for a lovely afternoon.

by Olivia Ellis of Nerinx Hall

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