“Millie” is thoroughly charming

Staples Players failed to disappoint yet again in this month’s production of the 1920’s comedy “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” From stunning dance numbers to impressive scenery and set design, I felt like I was not sitting in a high school auditorium, but in a theater on Broadway with professionally trained actors performing for a living.

The play follows Millie, a young actress struggling to make it in New York City after moving from Kansas, and her escapades while in the big city. The plot is a collection of her adventures, including plans to marry her boss for money, an unplanned romance, and the malicious intents of  Mrs. Meers, the manager of the hotel Millie stays at.

As the curtain was drawn and the lights dimmed, the show opened with a promising musical number that set the mood. As time went on, their performances continued to wow me, particularly those with tap dancing. It brought a positive, upbeat vibe to musical numbers and was pleasing to listen to when cast members added their own beats to songs with the soles of their tap shoes.

As far as comedic aspects go, Millie certainly fulfilled, if not exceeded, my expectations. I had gone in expecting a musical, not a comedy, but was pleased to find that Millie was a captivating blend of both. Mrs. Meers and her employees served as both the villains and the comedic relief in the show; their musical number “Muqin” about Ching Ho, Bun Foo, and their brother wanting to help their mother in China brought plenty of laughs with its cheeky choreography and clever portrayal of the lyrics.

As usual in Players productions, the singing and acting were unbelievable and the show ran seamlessly from scene to scene and act to act.

I was sad to see the show come to a close with its final musical number involving the whole company. As the Players took to the stage for their applause, I was already looking forward to the next production with that unmistakable quality of feeling like you’re sitting in a Broadway theater, just a little closer to home!