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27th-31st March 2012

The Pirates of Penzance

Show handbill
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Richard Morris and Scanlan. Based on the 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love - a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce. Millie soon begins to take delight in the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by the leader of a white slavery ring in China. The style of the musical is comic pastiche.

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Song List

Act One

  1. Overture
  2. Not for the Life of Me (Millie)
  3. Thoroughly Modern Millie (Millie and Ensemble)
  4. Not for the Life of Me (Millie and the Hotel Girls)
  5. How the Other Half Lives (Millie and Miss Dorothy)
  6. Not for the Life of Me (Bun Foo and Ching Ho)
  7. The Speed Test (Trevor Graydon, Millie, Stenographers, Office Singers)
  8. They Don't Know (Mrs Meers)
  9. The Nuttycracker Suite
  10. What Do I Need with Love? (Jimmy)
  11. Only in New York (Muzzy)
  12. Jimmy (Millie)

 

Act Two

  1. Entr'acte
  2. Forget About the Boy (Millie, Miss Flannery, Women Office Singers, Stenographers)
  3. Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life/Falling in Love with Someone (Trevor Graydon and Miss Dorothy)
  4. I Turned the Corner/Falling in Love with Someone (Millie, Jimmy, Miss Dorothy, Trevor Graydon)
  5. Muqin (Mrs Meers, Bun Foo, Ching Ho)
  6. Long as I'm Here with You (Muzzy and Muzzy's Boys)
  7. Gimme Gimme (Millie)
  8. The Speed Test (Millie, Trevor Greydon, Jimmy)
  9. Ah! Sweet Mystery (Miss Dorothy and Ching Ho)
  10. Thoroughly Modern Millie (Company)

Synopsis

Act I

Millie Dillmount escapes to New York City from Salina, Kansas, determined to become a success. Bobbing her hair and assuming the modern look of a "flapper," she is quickly mugged on the streets of New York, losing her hat, scarf, purse and shoe. In a panic for someone to help her, she trips bypasser Jimmy Smith (a handsome, carefree young man who makes his way through life on whim and wits), who promptly lectures her on why she needs to head back home: she is just another girl full of false hopes who doesn't belong in the big city. Almost taking his advice, she changes her mind and yells after him, "who needs a hat? Who needs a purse? And who needs YOU, mister whoever-you-are?!" and soon takes a room at the Hotel Priscilla for Women. A week later, Millie is confronted by the hotel proprietress, the mysterious and sinister Mrs. Meers (an actress turned evil who now works for a white slavery ring in Hong Kong, kidnapping pretty unsuspecting orphan girls and shipping them to the Orient), for not paying her rent. Mrs. Meers declares that Millie "has two minutes to pack, or find your things on the street!" But then Millie meets the wealthy Miss Dorothy, who wants to learn how the poorer half lives, and who agrees to room with Millie and pay the rent until Millie finds a suitable (rich and single) boss. The two quickly become best friends.

Millie is hired by the wealthy, single, and level-headed Trevor Graydon III, who is impressed by her stenographer skills, and whom she intends to marry. But trouble comes in several respects. First, Millie is falling for Jimmy, but she fears that Jimmy is having a fling with her new friend, Miss Dorothy, after she sees him leave Dorothy's room late one night. In addition, Mrs. Meers employs two Chinese henchmen, Ching Ho and Bun Foo, whom she is blackmailing into helping her kidnap into white slavery any orphaned women who check into her hotel, by promising the henchmen that she'll help them bring their elderly mother to America. Upon registering at the hotel, Miss Dorothy declares that she is an orphan. Mrs. Meers immediately targets her for white slavery and puts Ching Ho and Bun Foo to work trying to drug her, but Ching Ho instead falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Millie tries to seduce Mr. Graydon, but gives up after she introduces Dorothy to Mr. Graydon and they instantly fall in love. Millie, Jimmy, and Miss Dorothy go to a glamorous party at Muzzy Van Hossmere's, a wealthy widow for whom Jimmy's father once worked as a gardener. At the party, Millie spills champagne on a famous 1920s critic and then makes things worse by trying to scrub the stain out with soy sauce, after which she flees in embarrassment. Jimmy runs after her and tries to reassure her, but they soon get into a heated argument. Right when they are nose to nose, Jimmy grabs Millie and passionately kisses her and she starts to kiss back! But he soon pulls away and runs off in a panic.

Act II

Jimmy finally declares his feelings for Millie while washing dishes to pay their tab at Cafe Society, a swank speakeasy. Millie is confused by her feelings for Jimmy and her desire not to be poor. Just as she returns to Jimmy, they encounter Mr. Graydon, who was stood up by Miss Dorothy. He tells Millie and Jimmy that Mrs. Meers told him Miss Dorothy had checked out of the hotel. When Millie recalls that several other tenants had also suddenly "checked out", and that all of the missing tenants were orphans, Millie, Jimmy, and Mr. Graydon realize what Mrs. Meers is up to. They persuade Muzzy to pose as a new orphan in town to trick Mrs. Meers. Mrs. Meers takes the bait, is exposed as the mastermind of the white slavery ring, and taken to the police station. Meanwhile, Ching Ho had already rescued Miss Dorothy and won her heart.

Jimmy proposes to Millie, and, poor as he is, she accepts, "because if it's marriage I've got in mind, love has everything to do with it." Jimmy turns out to be Herbert J. Van Hossmere III, Muzzy's stepson, and one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. And Miss Dorothy turns out to be his sister, an heiress, and she ends up not with the dismayed Trevor Graydon, but with Ching Ho. Both Jimmy and Dorothy had disguised their wealth to avoid being targeted by gold diggers. In a final pairing, Bun Foo joins Graydon's company as a new stenographer after telling Grayson that he can type fifty words a minute.