The production presented by University Theatre and the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, with additional performances set for 8 p.m. April 9, 15, 16, and at 3 p.m. April 10 and 17, in the Elsie C. Brackett Theatre, 563 Elm Ave. on the OU Norman campus.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical comedy with lyrics by Dick Scanlan, music by Jeanine Tesori and the book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan. The OU production will be directed and choreographed by Lyn Cramer, the Weitzenhoffer Endowed Professor of Musical Theatre Dance. The production is rated G.
“Winner of six TONY® Awards, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when "moderns" — including a flapper named Millie Dillmount — were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love. This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful homage to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there. Filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and a dragon-lady of a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Millie is a perfectly constructed evening of madcap merriment,” said Music Theatre International.
Thoroughly Modern Millie opened on Broadway at the Marquis Theater in April 2002. The musical became the most honored show of the season and ran for more than two years with 900 performances. In July 2003, a national tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie began in Kansas City, and later that year "crossed the pond" and opened at London's Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End. The production has also been staged in Canada, Hong Kong and many regional theaters throughout the United States.
Cramer has been a teacher, choreographer and director for more than 30 years. While at OU, Cramer lent her talents to countless University Theatre productions from La Cage aux Folles to Cabaret.
She directs and choreographs every season for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. She completed her fourth season with the Broadway Rose in Portland, Oregon and continues to direct and choreograph the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Christmas spectacular, The Christmas Show.
Cramer is the recipient of the Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts award. Her book, Creating Musical Theatre: Conversations with Broadway Directors and Choreographers, is becoming part of Musical Theatre curriculums nation-wide. Cramer is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; with published curricula in both jazz and tap pedagogy. She has released a dozen exclusive instructional tap videos and has been a master teacher in jazz and tap for schools and organizations internationally.
The cast includes students from the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. They are Jordan Barron as Jimmy Smith, Ryan Blagg as Bun Foo, Taylor Bryant as Millie Dillmount, Abby Cramer as Lucille, Kai Daly as Mrs. Meers, Mary-Clayton Gilbert as Muzzy Van Hoosmere, Jillian Hoffman as Ruth, Mattie Joyner as Ethel, Madison Levy as Alice, Tatum Ludlam as Cora, Patrick Nowak as Trevor Graydon, Taylor O’Toole as Rita, Madison Pugh as Miss Flannery, Aubrey Reece as Gloria, Daryl Tofa as Ching Ho, and Daisy Wright as Dorothy Brown.
Ensemble members include Gordie Beingessner, Sofia Belhouari, Caroline Coffey, Abby Cramer, Thomas Cromer, Tanner Dillon, Connor Donnelly, David Geist, William Harris, Jeff Jordan, Mattie Joyner, Andrew Kohagen, Spencer Laboda, Ashley Mandanas, Hannah McNew, Lena Owens, Amani Pope, Gray Randolph, Aubrey Reece, Sarah Quinn Taylor, John Tupy and Daniel Verschelden.
University Theatre’s production team includes Paul Christman, music director and conductor; J. Branson, scenic designer; Jon Young, scenic coordinator; Debbie Roberts and Lloyd Cracknell, costume designers; Christopher Harris, costume coordinator; Sam Brown, lighting designer; Cooper Simon, projections designer; Tab Birt, sound designer; Logan Sloan, dramaturg; Scott Henkels, technical director; Amber Trotter, stage manager; Kasey Allee-Foreman, production manager; and Mary Margaret Holt, University Theatre producer.
Purchase tickets in advance for the best price. Call the OU Fine Arts Box Office at (405) 325-4101, in person in the Catlett Music Center at 500 W. Boyd St., or online at theatre.ou.edu. Advance purchase ticket prices for Thoroughly Modern Millie are $30 for adults, $25 for senior adults, OU faculty and staff, military, and $10 for students. Tickets sold at the door are $40 for adults and $15 for students, cash or check only. For accommodations on the basis of disability call the box office at (405) 325-4101. Get social with OU University Theatre by becoming a fan on Facebook and Twitter #OUTheatre.
PHOTO (L to R): Jillian Hoffman, Mattie Joyner, Jordan Barron, Taylor Bryant, Madison Levy and Aubrey Reece share the spotlight in University Theatre’s 'Thoroughly Modern Millie.'