2020 gave way to the 1920’s last night with Thoroughly Modern Millie roaring open as Millie Dillmount (Ally Bastian) “bet the store” and definitively proclaimed she wouldn’t be going back to Kansas. New York City was integral to her clear-cut plan; find a rich boss (Mr. Trevor Graydon III, Jeremy Vicario) and marry him, declaring love irrelevant. Unfortunately, after disappearances and muggings, it’s clear for young female newcomers to New York, “one day they’re practicing Shakespeare, next they’re part of the plot.”
The titular character, in search of a home, was guided to the Hotel Priscilla by local working man Jimmy Smith (Gianni Malizia). This connects Millie to her first New York friend, Ms. Dorothy Brown, her next-door neighbor. Mrs. Meers, the ostensibly elderly hotel owner, is beloved by the guests but would be better left untrusted. Despite her Inception-style role, Shannon Lynch is more than phenomenal and pulls it off gracefully. Hotel staff Charles and Brian, brothers played by the endearing duo of Hunter Steward and Devin Klumpp, gave their performance in compelling Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.
Foreign languages were not the only surprise of the night as the tap heavy performance would tax any cast but it didn’t show here. This was best demonstrated in “The Speed Test” and “Forget About the Boy” as the cast tapped their hearts away. Commanding performances by Keily Wilson as Muzzy van Hossmere with her stellar vocals in “Long as I’m Here with You” and Haley Burk as hardnosed, but human, manager Ms. Flannery were true highlights of the show and demonstrated the depth of talent beyond the starring roles. Jeremy Vicario delivered his character’s emotions with comedic timing that could get him hired at Sincere Trust and even minor roles like the dishwasher (Kai Powell) were portrayed with finesse. The stage crew and pit orchestra pulled off an effectively seamless production that filled the room.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is, thankfully, not yet another musical centering around a Broadway hopeful but instead about a stenographer tapping out her dream. As the moderns tell their story, it becomes ever clearer that some things never go out of style, regardless of the decade, and that “love’s got everything to do with it” if you don’t want to be “all alone in the world.”
It’s a play worth watching and a testament to the strength of the arts at Sweet Home. The cast of Thoroughly Modern Millie can truly say, “I came, I sang, I conquered.”
Picture 1, Millie Dillmount as Alexandra Bastian and Jimmy Smith as Gianni Malizia. Picture 2, Hunter Steward as Charles, Devin Klumpp as Brian and Shannon Lynch as Mrs. Meers. Picture 3, Keily Wilson as Muzzy Van Hossmere. Picture 4, Matt McGowan, Elijah Cazes, Ethan Yacono, Alyssa Wright, Maddie Aust, Camryn Coughlin and Joey Bastian. Picture 5, Emily Fadale as Cora, Haley Burk as Miss Flannery, Alexia Ferreri as Ethel Peas, Alexandra Bastian as Millie Dillmount, and Juliana Bastian as Alice. Pictures taken by Mary Rao.
Pictures from the Musical
Correction: This article originally misrepresented the Chinese in this musical as solely Mandarin, it was both Mandarin and Cantonese.
Chukwudi, better known as Chudy, has been Editor-in-Chief since his sophomore year and has worked on the newspaper since his freshman year. His main focus is editing of articles, social media, and managing the website.