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Bob Jones presents “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on April 20-22

MADISON – For Madison’s spring musical, Bob Jones Musical Theatre will present “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on April 20-22.

Title character Millie Dillmount leaves Kansas for New York City during the 1920s’ Jazz Age. Adopting a flapper lifestyle, Millie hopes to marry her wealthy boss but surprisingly falls in love with a penniless young man.

Boys and girls stop the show in two major tap-dancing routines. They also dance The Charleston, Black Bottom, waltz and tango.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” won six Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” as 2002’s top-ranking hit. The 1967 film version of “Millie” won Academy Awards.

Samantha Stratton, a senior, is portraying Millie Dillmount. “Samantha is the whole package: talented, intelligent and beautiful,” director Mary Davis said. “This girl has got a voice you’ll have to hear to believe. It fills the auditorium … with so much feeling.”

Stratton’s rendition of “Gimme, Gimme” promises to chill listeners. Stratton, a four-year veteran of Bob Jones theatre, participates in advanced drama.

Guerin Tidwell, a junior, stars as Jimmy Smith, Millie’s true love. Freshman Regan Harris portrays wealthy heiress Miss Dorothy, who wants to learn ‘how the other half lives.’ Senior Timothy Ernst is Mr. Graydon, Millie’s boss at Sincere Trust.

Sophomore Suzie Glover plays Mrs. Meers, owner of The Hotel Priscilla. Junior Alyssa Richard is cast as Muzzy Van Hossmere, NYC socialite. The cast includes six minor characters and 30-member ensemble.

Technical director Dwayne Craft is managing 17 scene changes with 12 different settings with Art Deco designs boasting bold colors. Senior Ashley Williams is scenic artist.

Music director and pianist Newt Johnson is conducting the pit orchestra with 20 instrumentalists. “It’s obvious how much Newt loves music and teaching it to students,” Davis said.

Delivering a ‘seamless’ show has challenged the cast. “Every single aspect of a musical is rehearsed over and over until it’s done with ease,” Davis said. “The audience will love ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie,’ laugh and have such a great time.”

Personally, Davis has cherished working with daughter Serena, a Bob Jones sophomore and lead student costumer, directed by Shari Kingsford, designer of 200-plus costumes. “I once taught Mrs. Kingsford’s daughter. Now, she’s doing the same for mine. If that isn’t the beauty of ‘community,’ I don’t know what is,” Davis said.

Show times are April 20-22 at 7 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets costs $15 for adults, or $10 for students (K-12) and seniors. For tickets, visit showtix4u.com or at the box office.

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