OST review - Throughly Modern Millie
Spectacular costumes, fantastic dance routines and beautiful voices make "Throughly Modern Millie" a must see for everyone.
The final production of the 2018 Okoboji Summer Theatre season has bits of many components that make a musical interesting.
I have to give a huge bravo to Cami Huebert, the costume designer. She had a large cast to dress and some of them wore four or more outfits. The era was the 1920s so we got to see lots of sequins and lace. She told me after the show that there were around 430 pieces of wardrobe for this production. They were beautiful and so authentic. This was a masterful job. Bravo, bravo!
Director/choreographer Paul E. Finocchiaro did a wonderful job of creating dance routines for many people on a small stage and still have the dances be effective. It was a joy to watch the performers all night long.
The title role of Millie Dillmount was expertly played by Cameron Pille. She has a strong, sharp voice so they really needed to turn her microphone down. However, it was opening night and I think they've got that figured by now. She was an endearing Millie.
Sicily Mathenia portrayed Miss Dorothy. She is an accomplished singer and was fun to watch. I really liked her performance.
Hannah Sutton was the devious slimeball Mrs. Meers. She did such a good job in this role that we really disliked her the whole time.
I can’t find enough words to describe how good I thought Ania Martin was as Muzzy. She has a gorgeous voice, dances with grace and style and is a joy to watch.
Kenny Wang and Leo Yu-Ning Chang hardly spoke or sang a word of English the entire night but they were delightful and so funny. They were speaking in their native tongue but a clever screen hanging down from the upper curtains told us what they were saying. They portrayed Bun Foo and Ching Ho. You don’t want to miss them.
Jonathan Brugioni was very good as Jimmy, the love interest. His performance was right on.
The same can be said for Jonathan Grunert as Trevor. His vocals are spectacular and his dancing is an inspiration for all men to learn to dance.
The 12 remaining members of the cast all played their roles to perfection. They sang, danced and cavorted around that stage with boundless energy. I began to wonder what role Andrew Stachurski would play next when he entered the stage. I sort of lost count. He is humorous.
The set was cleverly functional thanks to set designer Brandon PT Davis and the lighting was well done by Joe Hodge. The band was fantastic.
All in all, this was an extremely well-done musical. It was a major undertaking with such a large cast, fast-paced music, quick costume changes, on a smaller stage than one would want for this show. My two 12-year-old grandsons and my mother went with me and we all loved it.
Thank you to the staff, guest artists and Stephens College students for a summer we will not soon forget. I am sorry to see the season end but it is not going out quietly. "Thoroughly Modern Millie" is a first rate finish to a top notch season. Thanks for the memories. See you next summer!