Thoroughly Modern Millie
A musical from the Universal Pictures film, original story by RICHARD MORRIS; book by RICHARD MORRIS & DICK SCANLAN, new music by JEANINE TESORI, new lyrics by DICK SCANLAN
Marquis Theatre, New York - 18 April, 2002: Closed 20th June 2004 (32 previews, 904 performances)
Shaftesbury Theatre, London - Opened 21 October, 2003 - Closed 26 June, 2004
Presented by Paul Elliot, Duncan C Weldon and Pat Moylan with Michael Leavitt, Fox Theatricals and Hal Luftig, Stewart F Lane/Bonnie Comley, Independent Presenters Network/Libby Adler Images/Mari Glick Stuart/John Noble and Whoopi Goldberg
Amanda Holden - Mille Dillmount
Mark McGee - Jimmy Smith
Zoe Hardman - Ruth
Donna Steele - Gloria
Rachel Barrell - Rita/Maid (Mathilde)/New Modern
Selina Chilton - Alice
Vikki Coote - Ethel Peas/Dorothy Parker
Nancy Wei George - Cora
Gabriella Khan - Lucille/Daphne
Maureen Lipman/Marti Webb - Mrs Meers
Helen Baker - Miss Dorothy Brown
Yo Santhaveesuk - Ching Ho
Unku - Bun Foo
Rachel Izen - Miss Flannery
Craig Urbani - Trevor Graydon
Pip Jordan - Pearl Lady
Tobias Walbom - The Letch
Mike Scott Officer/Prison Guard/Doctor
Sheila Ferguson - Muzzy Van Hossmere
Phong Truong - Butler (Kenneth)
Christian Gibson - George Gershwin
Roberto Giuffrida - Ira Gershwin
Adam Brooks Rodney
Other parts played by Chris Bailey and Matt Flint
Swings: Hayley Flaherty, Jayde Westaby, Tim Beaumont, Mike Denman
Director Michael Mayer
Decor David Gallo
Costumes Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting Donald Holder
Sound Jon Weston
Choreography Rob Ashford
Musical Director Mark Warman
Assistant director Beth Eden
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a high-spirited musical romp that has all of New York dancing the Charleston. It's the zany new 1920's musical that has taken Broadway by storm!
Taking place in New York City in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of young Millie Dillmount, who has just moved to the city in search of a new life for herself. It's a New York full of intrigue and jazz - a time when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behavior were changing forever. Based on the popular movie, the stage version of Thoroughly Modern Millie includes a full score of new songs and bright dance numbers.
Filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and a dragon-lady of a villainess audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a perfectly constructed evening of madcap merriment. And with the role of Millie Dillmount, musical theatre has found a new heroine for the ages in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Manhattan, 1922. Millie Dillmount steps off the train from Salina, Kansas. Surrounded by a throng of fabulous flappers, Millie's a fish out of water, until she bobs her hair and sheds her Sunday best for a higher hemline and a hotter look. As she walks along the street Millie is mugged. She seeks help from Jimmy Smith, but all he provides is unsolicited advice for her to make a U-turn and return home. A week passes, and we're at the Hotel Priscilla, where a bevy of stagestruck hopefuls are starting their day. Enter Miss Dorothy, and she and Millie quickly prove that opposites attract.
Meanwhile, in the laundry room, Mrs. Meers, the owner of the hotel, plots to kidnap Miss Dorothy. Why? Mrs. Meers runs a white slavery ring, targeting orphans whose sudden disappearance goes unnoticed, and Miss Dorothy fits the bill. Mrs. Meers barks instructions at her immigrant henchmen, Ching Ho and Bun Foo. The two brothers quarrel over Ching Ho's crisis of conscience, but Bun Foo reminds him that crime is the only career that pays well enough for them to bring their mother over from Hong Kong.
Later that afternoon, Millie begins her job hunt, or rather husband hunt: Millie's "modern" plan is to find work as a stenographer to an eligible bachelor and wind up his wife. On her list of potential bosses/hubbies is Trevor Graydon III at the Sincere Trust Insurance Company.
Back at the hotel, Mrs. Meers tries to dope Miss Dorothy with a poisoned apple, but is repeatedly interrupted. Millie takes the Priscilla girls out on the town to celebrate her new job, and she runs into Jimmy Smith. He gets them into a speakeasy, and though Millie is initially standoffish, they eventually join in a dance. By the time they are raided and land in jail, Jimmy reconsiders his assessment of Millie. Jimmy asks Millie to a Yankees game, but she reveals her plan to marry her boss. Saving face, Jimmy pretends that his interest is platonic, suggesting that she bring Miss Dorothy along. A trio is formed for nightly excursions to Coney Island, Central Park and the glamorous penthouse of Muzzy Van Hossmere, Manhattan's most celebrated chanteuse.
Later that night, on Muzzy's terrace, Jimmy needles Millie about her plan to marry a man who thinks of her as "a typewriter on legs." Their quarrel escalates until, unable to control himself, Jimmy kisses Millie passionately. He exits in a panic, leaving her alone to sort out her feelings. She returns to the Hotel Priscilla in a state of bliss, which is quickly shattered when she sees Jimmy sneaking out of Miss Dorothy's room after what appears to be a late-night tryst.
The next morning, Millie is miserable . She wills herself into wasting no more time on Jimmy Smith. Instead, she redoubles her efforts to seduce Mr. Graydon, until Miss Dorothy drops by and she and Mr Graydon are immediately smitten. Jimmy appears on the window ledge outside of Millie's office, where he declares his feelings for her. Millie, too, is falling in love, as are Mr. Graydon, Miss Dorothy and Ching Ho, whose heart has belonged to Miss Dorothy since the moment they met. Meanwhile, Mrs. Meers is more determined than ever to get Miss Dorothy. Ching Ho tries to stop her, but she reminds him of her promise to import their elderly, ailing mother in exchange for their evil-doings.
Millie and Jimmy go to Café Society to hear Muzzy sing but they can't pay the bill so they are put on dishwashing duty. Millie realises that the unemployed Jimmy is as far from her plan to marry well as a girl can get, so she flees the kitchen and heads to Muzzy's dressing room for some sound advice. Muzzy explains that though she herself married a multi-millionaire, she had no idea he was rich until after their engagement, when a green glass brooch he gave her turned out to be emeralds. Muzzy leaves Millie alone in the dressing room to mull over her advice.
Mr. Graydon shows up at Café Society in a drunken stupor: Miss Dorothy has checked out of the Hotel Priscilla with no forwarding address. Putting their heads together, Millie, Jimmy and Mr. Graydon realise that Mrs. Meers must be running a white slavery ring. They persuade Muzzy into checking in as a new-orphan-in-town. Mrs. Meers takes the bait and is exposed as the mastermind criminal she is.
With Mrs. Meers out of the way, Miss Dorothy is revealed in Ching Ho's arms: he rescued her from an unspeakable fate and won her heart into the bargain. Jimmy proposes to Millie, and, poor as he is, she accepts, "because if it's marriage I've got in mind, love has everything to do with it." Jimmy reveals himself to be Herbert J. Van Hossmere III — Muzzy's stepson, Miss Dorothy's brother and one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. The two couples kiss as a throng of fabulous flappers appears. Through them walks another girl from nowhere, ready to take her chances in the never-ending tale that is New York City.
CAST in order of appearance
- Overture - Orchestra
- Not for the Life of Me - Millie
- Thoroughly Modern Millie - Millie and Ensemble
- Not for the Life of Me (reprise) - Millie, Gloria, Alice, Rita, Ruth, Cora and Lucille
- How the Other Half Lives - Dorothy and Millie
- Not for the Life of Me (reprise) - Ching Ho and Bun Foo
- The Speed Test - Trevor Graydon, Millie, Miss Flannery and Ensemble
- They Don't Know - Mrs. Meers
- The Nuttycracker Suite - Orchestra
- What Do I Need with Love? - Jimmy
- Only in New York - Muzzy
- Jimmy - Millie
- Back at Work - Orchestra; with Millie, Miss Flannery and Ensemble
- Forget About the Boy - Millie, Miss Flannery and Female Ensemble
- Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life/ I'm Falling in Love with Someone - Trevor Graydon and Dorothy
- I Turned the Corner/ I'm Falling in Love with Someone - (quartet/reprise) - Jimmy and Millie, Trevor Graydon and Dorothy with Ching Ho
- Muqin - Mrs. Meers, Bun Foo and Ching Ho
- Long as I'm Here with You - Muzzy and Male Ensemble
- Gimme Gimme - Millie
- Finale (Thoroughly Modern Millie) - Jimmy, Dorothy and Ensemble with Muzzy and Millie
- Final Bows - Entire Company
Keyboards; Piano/Celeste; Woodwinds IV; Trumpets III; Tenor Trombone; Bass Trombone/Tuba; French Horn; Violins V; Cello II; Harp; Bass; Guitar/Banjo/Ukelele; Drums; Percussion
Original Broadway Cast Recording - RCA Victor 09026-63959-2