Thoroughly Modern Millie Takes the Stage

by Brittany Robinson '08

“So beat the drums 'cause here comes thoroughly modern Millie now,” sang the cast of the recent APU Theater production, Thoroughly Modern Millie. The show ran for three sold out weekends in April.

Based on a 1967 comedy starring Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a Broadway musical that won six Tony awards in 2002, including best musical, with more than 900 performances. The play tells the story of a young, "modern" woman from a small Kansas town who moves to New York City in hopes of marrying for money, not love. Millie takes on the flapper lifestyle, while moving in to a hotel owned by a Chinese woman who operates a white slavery business.

"Our biggest challenge as a cast occurred a few days before the show opened," said vocal performance major Colleen Ballinger '08, who played Miss Dorothy. "We worked so hard to make sure all the music, scene work, and choreography were in great shape, but we did not expect to have so much trouble with adding sets, props, and costumes."

Even with the roaring twenties fashion, quick costume and set changes, the cast pulled together their passion and talent, wowing audience members. "The dancing was amazing," said communication studies major Allegra Bell '08. "The best I have seen on the APU stage yet."   

"The students of APU and I were excited to present Thoroughly Modern Millie," said director Bart McHenry. "To me this show represents the bright future of theater at APU, presented through the talented students who have worked hard to hone their theatrical skills, while here in this Christian community."