'Thoroughly Modern Millie': Union Pines Theater Group Performs Musical
"Oh, the places I would like to show you, although I hardly know you," sings a character in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," playing this weekend at Union Pines High School.
Even if they hardly know you, Judy Osborne's theater production classes promise they will show you a fun, fabulous and flirty musical.
"Millie" is the story of a young girl who leaves Salinas, Kan., for the bright lights of the big city of New York at the height of the Jazz Age. Millie's goals are twofold: she wants to hit it big on Broadway, and she wants to marry her boss, because that's what thoroughly modern women do. They don't fall for all of that hearts-and-love nonsense; they marry for money.
As Millie begins to discover that love indeed trumps money, she becomes involved with her landlord, Mrs. Meers. Much to Millie's horror, Mrs. Meers ships the girls who can't pay their rent off to China to work as white slaves.
Meghan Osborne, who plays the title role, enjoys all of the singing and dancing that come with "Millie."
"She is a lot of fun to play, because she is a confident and funny person," Osborne says. "The musical combines the most talented and artistic people in our school, and it is great entertainment."
Millie's boss, Trevor Graydon, is played by Derrick Case.
"I love that Trevor is completely nave, even though he is a full-grown man -- kind of like me," Case says with a chuckle.
"All the jazzy energy that flows through the show is just incredible. It's a great love story, and you'll get your money's worth."
Judy Osborne agrees.
"It has great roles for girls, which can be difficult to find in a musical, and most of the roles are for young people, which is another plus," she says. "I think the audiences will enjoy the music and the energy of these young actors."
Working with high school students certainly comes with its share of burdens.
"Scheduling time for rehearsals with so many students is always a problem," Osborne says. "This is a big show with a lot of scenery, music and dance, and each of those items brings a challenge. Getting props for a show set in 1922 is a challenge on its own."
And she also has to direct her daughter in Meghan's final high school performance.
"I can't think about that right now," she says. "In fact, when I direct a show that my child is in, I really don't get to appreciate my child's performance in the way a parent should. I have to watch the whole stage and all of the show, not just my daughter."
Two of Mrs. Meers' reluctant henchmen are played by seniors Dillon Rice and Robert McFadyen.
"I get to speak and sing in Chinese throughout the entire play," Dillon says. "It's fast and upbeat and the style of play that allows us to make really big choices, which makes for an exciting show."
McFadyen praises not just the show, but theater production in general.
"Theater has helped me with public speaking in front of people that I don't know," he says.
"I think that theater has made me a more open and accepting person as a whole."
Tyler Mofield, who portrays one of Millie's friends, concurs.
"It's definitely given me confidence and helped me find my voice," she says. "I'm sure I'm not the same shy girl I was four years ago."
And it is those achievements that are most special to Judy Osborne.
"The best moment is always when the final curtain closes after the opening night show," she says. "I watch the faces of the students, and they are so amazed and honored by this huge accomplishment and by the audience's response. Some of them didn't know that they could really do something this big."
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" wil be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15.
Call 947-5511 for more information.
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