Footlighters aim for Thoroughly Modern performance of Millie
Issue date: 10/29/10 Section: Focus
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The play, presented by CWRU's student musical company, Footlighters, revolves around the antics of a young girl named Millie Dillmount in the 1920's when she moves to New York in an attempt to marry for money instead of love. From there, she takes a job as a stenographer, adopts the flapper lifestyle, finds love, and gets herself mixed up with the criminal trade of young girls to China.
Among the show's musical highlights are "The Speed Test," an incredible workout that features a strenuous tap-dancing routine and lightning-fast singing from a number of cast members, and a raucous 1920's jazz rendition of a classic Tchaikovsky ballet, known in this production as "The Nuttycracker Suite."
The titular role is performed by senior Kari Davis, who also starred in spring 2008's production of Chicago as lead character Roxie Hart when she was a freshman. Trevor Graydon, the boss she sets out to marry is played by Brenden Raymond, while Frank Blackman plays her separate love interest, the carefree and clever Jimmy Smith. Millie's new friend in New York, Dorothy Brown, is portrayed by Abby Walker, and her evil landlady, Mrs. Meers, is played by Katharine Bussert.
Eric Yarham, Millie's director, said "I made the decision for choosing this play because I loved the music, the structure, the array of different characters, and the wide vocal ranges."
"The kids from Footlighters are very talented," said choreographer Charlotte Ghigliazza. "We often have to put around 8 hours a week in, and that's a normal week. In that week, we usually have 2 dance rehearsals. The exception is the week before the performances."