'Thoroughly Modern Millie' is spectacular musical

LOYAL FAIRMAN, Theatre Review
09/27/2007
Broadway has a new location at 69th and Cass streets in Omaha. The Omaha Community Playhouse's first main-stage production of the current season has the look, the sound, the excitement that only happens on Broadway in New York or a professional touring company at the Orpheum.
The musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is a fun-filled night of theater.

This musical is based on the Julie Andrews movie from 1967. The Playhouse production is lavish featuring great costumes, beautiful set, and a 13-piece orchestra. The look and feel of this production is professional down to every detail. The stellar cast of 23 has great energy and talent.

Jill Anderson, appearing courtesy Actors Equity, plays Millie Dillmount with spunk. She is the central character as the na´ve lady from Kansas who comes to New York in the 1920s to work for a company as a secretary. She has a beautiful voice, can dance and is bubbling with excitement when on stage. Seth Fox is a talented actor who plays Jimmy Smith, her love interest.

Angela Jenson Frey plays Miss Dorothy Brown who also lives at the ladies-only hotel. Ryan Pivonka, sporting an incredible curly wig, is the man that runs the business. Connie Lee is Miss Flannery, and Kim Jubenville plays Mrs. Meers. They all put on great performances in this lively musical.

If you have been to the opera, you are familiar with the white screen hanging above the stage, where the English words are projected during the performance. In "Millie," one of those screens is used to translate the words of two Chinese workers at the hotel. These two characters are incredibly funny. They are played by Benjamin Beck as Ching Ho and Logan Vamosi as Bun Foo.

If you like tap dancing, this show features some of the best I have seen. Tap dancing, always popular with audiences, has been featured on local stages a great deal lately. The use of rolling typewriter tables by the ladies is done well and a unique feature of this production.

Kudos go out to all those involved in this musical production. Director Carl Beck, choreographer Roxanne Nielsen, costumer Georgiann Regan, and musical director Jim Boggess have done an incredible job. The set by James Othuse is magnificent. Mary Dew, the stage manager, and a great running and light crew makes this production a remarkable night of theater.

"Thoroughly Modern Millie" runs through Oct. 14 at the Omaha Community Playhouse at 69th and Cass streets in Omaha. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (402) 553-0800. Prices are $38 for adults, students $24. If you want a great night of entertainment, don't miss this show.