TIPP CITY — The Jazz age comes to life onstage at the Tippecanoe Center for Performing Arts this weekend, as Tippecanoe High School students present “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
The year is 1922, and Millie Dillmount (Melanie Dodson), freshly arrived in New York City from small town Kansas, is determined to make a new life for herself. Her thoroughly modern goal? Finding a wealthy husband.
Performances are set for 7 p.m. on March 15 and 16, and 2 p.m. on March 17. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and are available on the school’s website or at the door.
Millie immediately adopts the “modern” flapper style and sets off in search of a wealthy, single employer, which she finds in the form of Trevor Graydon III (Adam Reed). Her plans are complicated by attractive but penniless paperclip salesman Jimmy Smith (Alec Group).
Along the way, Millie becomes entangled in a scheme by her landlady, Mrs. Meers (Olivia Hamilton), the leader of a human trafficking ring who has her sights set on Millie’s naive roommate Dorothy Brown (Caitlyn Hood).
The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical,”Thoroughly Modern Millie” is a “good old-fashioned” musical, director Bryan Wallingford said.
“Big numbers, big tap numbers, bright costumes, bold sets, crazy characters,” he said. “Some of my favorite parts are the big dance numbers. To get kids up on stage and executing a big tap number, I think audiences really love those.”
The musical is based on the 1967 film of the same name starring starring Julie Andrews, a movie Wallingford said helped grow his love for musical theater.
“I remember going to the Blockbuster and renting all of the old movie musicals on VHS. I remember picking up ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ with Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing and watching it, and as a kid falling in love with theater, it was just awesome,” he said.
The cast also includes Katie Reader as Muzzy Van Hossmere, Jackson Hottle as Ching Ho and Jackson Yeager as Bun Foo. The show’s ensemble features: London Eberly, Annie Livesay, Libby Kaibas, Elise Cooper, Annie Sinning, Riley Trzeciak, Randy Miller, Grace Ranard, Stephanie Fink, Shannon Saylors, Hana Walchli, Brinkley Barton, Jaila Fletcher, Megan Haggerty, Rachel Street, Lauryn Williams, Kendall Beam, Annie Martino, Josiah Randall, Dalton Smith, Ethan Spencer, Lindsey Viskup, Allison Boyle, Brenna Custer, Brendan Green, Ashleigh Muir, Connor Behm, Nicole Downing, Savannah Foster, Missy Gross, Anne Lyons, Gloria Moor, Ava Newbourn, Miyu Sakumoto, Leena Vyas, Ashley Wickline, Belle Williams.
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