Preview: "Thoroughly Modern Millie" confronts racism

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The cast rehearses “Forget About the Boy.”

The Newtonite

 

Director Brad Jensen talking with members of the cast
Director Brad Jensen talks with members of the cast. Photo by Josh Shub-Seltzer.

Note: Check out page four of our Midyear Special to read a feature about the community’s reaction to the controversial aspects of this year’s musical.
by Jessica Tharaud
Theatre Ink confronts racism and what it means to be a modern woman in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which goes up Thursday, March 13 through Saturday March 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 16 at 2 p.m., in the auditorium.
Based on a 1967 movie of the same name, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” follows Millie Dillmount, played by senior Maddy Waters, a young woman who moves to New York City to make a new life for herself.
The musical’s racist villain, Mrs. Meers, played by senior Kelsey Fox, presented challenges for the show. “There are some images in our show that are going to be offensive,” said English teacher Bradley Jensen, the director. He continued that the whole cast had to “really inform ourselves about the stereotypes that are in our show.”
Jensen also praised the work ethic and the dedication of the cast and crew. He appreciated the “amazing team effort” by everyone involved.
According to senior Will Champion, who plays Trevor Graydon III, “The show tells us not to judge books by their covers, for good or for bad, and to know that getting what we want is never easy. These are both age old messages, the show just presents them in a fun way.”
The cast rehearsing "Forget About the Boy"
The cast rehearses “Forget About the Boy.” Photo by Josh Shub-Seltzer.

Junior Aiden O’Neal, who plays Dorothy Brown, said that she liked the show’s “crazy, over the top elements that are interspersed with moments of sweetness and sincerity.”
Jensen added that the audience will leave the show “at least humming one of the songs.”
Tickets are $7 and are sold at all lunches and on Theatre Ink’s website.