The Artistic Civic Theatre announces the latest production coming to the Mashburn Stage: "Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr."
With performances at 7 p.m. on June 17-21 and a matinee at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, the public will have the opportunity to see a very talented group of young actors bring this Jr. version of the Broadway original to life.
Set in 1920s New York City, "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is a tale about a girl from small town looking to be a modern woman in a new world. She stumbles almost immediately into the path of a regular city boy named Jimmy (Alex McKinney). Though intrigued by one another, they are both determined to avoid what they feel in pursuit of what they think they want.
In the meantime, Millie (Sara Angell) lands a job working for the dashing Trevor Graydon (Levi Bishop), and meets other girls trying to make their mark on the world, including one Ms. Dorothy (Linda Olvera-Jones), an innocent and naïve sweetheart who soon becomes her friend. She also crosses paths with her landlady, Mrs. Meers (Ansley Nguyen), whose sinister side is kept well-hidden until it's almost too late. Only brothers Bun Foo (Jaden Croninger) and Ching Ho (Aaron Coker) know what she's up to, and they only speak Chinese.
Though the audience is able to understand the brothers with the help of four adorable bellhops (Molly Long, Charlotte McLawhorn, Caroline Gee and Lottie Skaare), poor Millie and the "Hotel Girls" (Ruth -- Kinsley Stephens, Rita -- Henley Green, Cora -- Emma Lester, Ethel -- Tristyn Sutton, Gloria -- Brooke Schlisner, Alice -- Lindy Hester and Lucille -- Lilly Jones) are oblivious to her cruel intentions. At any rate, the brothers' lips are grudgingly sealed since Mrs. Meers has a bargaining chip named "Mama" (Kaylen Chitwood) that she uses to buy their silence.
Rounding out the cast of characters are many other groups and featured roles. Ms. Flannery (Emily Hunt) and her "stenog"raphers (Eden Croninger, Scarlett Mumford, Mary Jones, Millie Bledsoe, Ariana Avila) show fancy footwork in "Speed Test." The "modern women" (Sara Head, Morgan Long, Alana McGaughey, Kaylen Chitwood, Lydia Hamilton and Tristyn Sutton) lend great vocals and bring the look of the Roaring '20s. The businessmen/jailbirds (Olivia Akers, Judah Hamilton, Jackson Kersey, Jaidyn Squires, Katherine Chamul, Andrea Clark-Arhart and Gabby Almon) add some humor and excitement to the show.
Of course, no show set in the '20s would be complete without muggers (Jackson Kersey, Judah Hamilton, Scarlett Mumford) and some police officers to chase them (Olivia Akers, Jaidyn Squires). Finally, the restaurant host (Andrea Clark-Arhart) and the Café Society performers (Morgan Long, Alana McGaughey, Lydia Hamilton) add sophisticated sounds and sleek styles to a great moment in the show.
Ashlyn Barnett ("Into the Woods Jr.") has come back for another turn as director, and Mary McLawhorn ("Mary Poppins Jr.") takes her first turn as musical director. Mary and Ashlyn have also taken many turns acting on the stage at ACT as well. Both work as teachers for Whitfield County Schools and have enjoyed watching the kids bring the play to the stage.
Director Barnett states, "Not only is this cast filled to the brim with talented performers, but these kids are incredibly supportive of one another. I've never worked with a group so eager to cheer each other on, and continually give positive feedback. As a director, I am so proud of the performance they are putting on, but I am most proud of the kind of people they are. At the end of the day it's not the characters you see on stage that matter, it's the character behind the scenes that makes this show and this cast so special!"
The script and score (book by Richard Henry Morris and Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori, and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan) have presented many challenges to the actors who range in age from 9-15, but so far the cast has proved equal to the task. The directors are impressed with the level of singing, dancing and acting ability displayed at every rehearsal.
With beautiful sets, lively musical numbers, a great story and colorful costumes that will transport us all back to the Roaring '20s, this show is sure to be one audiences of all ages will enjoy. Be sure to grab tickets for opening night (June 17) to participate in our "Flappers and Dappers" event. We invite everyone to dress in '20s fashion. The audience member with the best '20s attire will win two tickets to "Frozen Jr." in September.
"Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr." is presented through special agreement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Music Theatre International, New York, New York, and is sponsored by Cornerstone Medical Group, Dr. Brad Snipes, Dr. David Cassidy and Peds Care.
Tickets are on sale by visiting ACTDalton.org or by clicking the "Book Now" icon on the ACT's Facebook page. While we encourage our patrons to purchase their tickets and pick their seats online, you can still call the box office at (706) 278-4796 for information or help with ticket purchases.