Tuesday, June 12, 2007

STT 2007 #1: Thoroughly Modern Millie

Earlier in the year my friend Felicity e-mailed me about going to see the Hale Centre Theatre’s production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in Salt Lake City. We had seen it on Broadway a few years ago and loved it, so I was really excited to go. Julie, Dub and a couple of friends also decided to join us. Dub had also seen the production a few years ago in Memphis when the touring company performed it.

When I opened the playbill I began to think that some of the people seemed really familiar. I had seen a photo of the person who played Millie somewhere. It ended up that I had surfed onto her blog a while back and even commented about Hong Kong. The next person who seemed familiar was the person who played Mr. Grayden. I realized that I had seen him in quite a few productions before. I had seen him as Adam in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and possibly some USF plays? The next person who looked familiar was the person who played Ethel Peas. I finally gathered that she was in my ward in Illinois when I lived there and that she was my friend Jamie’s younger sister. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of them perform because they were all Monday/Wednesday/Friday performers, and I was there on Saturday.

I thought that the performance was really enjoyable. In fact, the presentation was very similar to the Broadway presentation of the same musical. Even the costumes were extremely familiar. It made me wonder if they had purchased some of the old props or costumes from the Broadway production, but I doubted that those costumes were still usable. After the play Julie and I mentioned it to one of the actors, and they said that the powers that be had gone to see the musical on Broadway and had taken notes. Those were some good notes.

And now I think of YouTube. I mean, it’s a possibility, no? Pirated Broadway musicals? I confess that I’ve seen one. And, according to my memory, at no point does Millie ever wear the outfit from the front of the playbill in the musical. I just think that it’s weird to have a photo that doesn’t exist in the production on the front cover. Oh well.

Anyway, I will tell you what was impressive: the stage at the Hale Centre Theatre is really small. The audience sits around the stage, so the actors and props have to be done in such a way that no audience member is jilted from viewing or hearing the action. When they brought out the stenographer desks on wheels, I was shocked and impressed. As soon as I saw the theater, I was sure that there would be no desk tapping. And, sure, there was very little and to a degree that was much less-impressive than the Broadway number, but they still squeezed it in somehow.

I was also pleased to see that they had monitors set up so people could view the Chinese translations of Ching Ho and Bun Foo.

Ultimately, I thought that the experience was fun. There were a few minor mishaps during the play, but nothing stood out that was really wrong with it. We also got to view a last-day surprise of two new moderns coming out during the closing number. One was a man dressed up as a new modern. It was a little scary, but… it was the last day, so I overlooked it. I didn’t even get to properly see the female new modern because the he/she was blocking my view from the other one. Geez.


Anonymous said...

I have been afraid to see any other productions of Millie, because I loved the one we saw together so much. I'm glad you had a good experience!

Cassie said...

You didn't tell me about the last-day surprise. I had fun hanging out with you guys too even though we didn't go to the show with you.

Jill - GlossyVeneer said...

When Kevin and I lived in SLC after graduation we saw 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' at the Hale Centre Theatre. It is a really cool theatre.

julie said...

Cardine, great summary of the show! My feelings mirror yours almost exactly (I like the Broadway Mrs Meirs better).

Sarah, I was a little nervous about it for the same reason, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised. They did a great job!

Framed said...

I saw Little Women at the Hale and really liked the theater. It seems so intimate. Well, we were sitting on the front row so may be that was a bit more intimate than those poor people sitting on the back row. That would be Row 14 or something. And it was fun to talk with the actors after the production. I definitely want to see more plays there.

Cash said...

I know the girl who designed the wigs for that show, Cardine. How did they look?

Indy said...

I haven't seen that movie for so long. I need to see it again. Hey Sarah I have a fun idea for when you get back.... How does having a movie night sound? I would love to see that show again..

Cardine said...

The wigs looked just grand, Cash. You can tell that to your friend.