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Shaftesbury Theatre: Previewed 11 Oct, Opened 21 Oct 2003, Closed 26 June 2004
Musical by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan with book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan based on the 1967 film of the same name. Directed by Michael Mayer, with choreographer by Rob Ashford, set designs by David Gallo, costume designs by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Jon Weston.
Based on the 1967 Oscar winning film, Thoroughly Modern Millie is the story of Millie, a young girl from Kansas who comes to New York in search of a new life for herself in the 'Roaring 20's'. She has a plan - to get a good job as a secretary to a very rich man, and then marry him. Of course nothing quite goes according to plan - the owner of her dingy hotel kidnaps young girls to sell to the Far East, her very rich boss is slow in proposing marriage, and the guy she actually falls in love with is as poor as a church mouse.
Great show stopping numbers and fabulous dance routines, together with hilarious kidnap sequences makes this a great night out at the theatre. Millie is suitable for all ages.
Cast features Amanda Holden as 'Millie' (up to 21 August 2004), Shelia Ferguson as 'Muzzy van Hossmere' (up to 21 August 2004) and Maureen Lipman as 'Mr Meers' (up to 28 February 2004), Anita Dobson as 'Mrs Meers' (from 1 March 2004).
A transfer of the Broadway show - which won six Tony awards including 'Best Musical' - in a re-cast production.
The CD Thoroughly Modern Millie (Original Broadway Cast) is available to buy from amazon.co.uk.
News about the show
On 28 October 2003: A new 3½ month booking period was announced covering performances up to 8 May 2004.
On 9 February 2003: It was confirmed that Maureen Lipman will leave the cast on 28 February 2004. The role of 'Mrs Meers' will then be played by Anita Dobson. A new eight month booking period was also announced covering performances up to 15 January 2005.
Extracts from the reviews:
"...When Ms Lipman launches, with her two attendant laundrymen, into a Chinese version of Mammy, you begin to feel the show's grabbag eclecticism knows no bounds. The real enigma is Amanda Holden, making her West End debut as Millie... she brings to it an unaffected charm and pleasing singing voice that won me over. And when she executes a tap-dance while seated at her stenographer's desk, in one of Rob Ashford's wittier pieces of choreography, she makes it look effortlessly elegant. Otherwise almost everything about the show, from Jeanine Tesori's new music to David Gallo's Art Deco designs and Michael Mayer's direction, has the feeling of a factory product..." The Guardian
"...The show was a hyper-hit on Broadway last year. But although this romantic, high-energy entertainment, with its tremendous dancing, vivacity and jocular hedonism, captures the style and mood of the roaring Twenties. I am uncertain it will triumph here... Jeanine Tesori's jazzy, jaunty music goes with a swing - especially in How The Other Half Lives - but not that much more..." The London Evening Standard
"Amanda Holden is one of those people in television showbusiness I've never heard of, just read about. So it is a pleasant surprise to report that she is very good, and very personable on the stage. She plays the Julie Andrews role in this decent, competent, beautifully costumed and lit, but totally souless version of a nice, quirky film about a girl from Kansas hitting New York in the jazz age and finding true love... Michael Mayer's production has a processed 'New York' feel about it, despite Rob Ashton's clever choreography and the recurrent glow of neon-lit Manhattan skyline." The Daily Mail
"...The new 21st-century stage musical, which comes to us from Broadway, has a great many songs that were not in the movie, some new (music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlon), all more or less in period, all determinedly stylish, with bags of well-drilled energy (as in Rob Ashford's choreography). Aspects of the plot have been rewritten, often to good effect: this Millie is less of an innocent, more of a gold-digger..." The Financial Times