Thoroughly Modern Millie


Director Ryan Klug returned in 2008 to lead Lakeshore Productions, Inc., in the presentation of Thoroughly Modern Millie, one of his favorite musicals. The board experimented with another idea presented by Klug – making it was a double cast show with the Saturday afternoon version featuring the younger group of performers.

Veronica Hilke served as choreographer, while John Knetzger was musical director, Kevin Lampe the technical director and Theresa Miller the stage manager. Lora Arndt was the assistant director.

The story centers around Millie Dillmount, a fearless young lady from Salina, Kansas. She was determined to experience life and moved to New York City in 1922, hoping to test those “modern” ideas she has been reading about. Millie falls in love, takes up stenography, visits a speakeasy, and confronts a white slavery ring.

Thoroughly Modern Millie, based on the 1967 film starring Julie Andrews, was restaged for Broadway in 2002.

"It got a major overhaul and won a Tony Award for Best Musical, and also a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Musical in 2002," said Klug. "It's a high energy musical that pays homage to the roaring 20's — the music, the clothes, and the mentality that forged into one of the most memorable eras in recent history. Ever since I saw it on Broadway, I’ve wanted to direct it. It’s easily one of my favorite shows, and I haven’t met one person that didn’t like it."

The show cast Emily Timm in the lead role of Millie Dillmount, while the junior version featured Alex Kussow. Austin Ross played the male lead of Jimmy Smith in both shows. Business leader Trevor Graydon III was portrayed by Robert Ross in the adult show and Brian Winker in the youth show. Millie’s friend Dorothy Brown was played by Michelle Bestul in the adult show and Taylor Nye in the youth show.

Rehearsing and presenting two versions of the musical offered expanded performance opportunities to all cast members but there were challenges too. "We've all realized that the extra work needed to pull off this task was well worth it," the director said. "I hope that everyone who got a chance to partake in our youth show realizes that they were given a spectacular opportunity. Thanks to the board of directors for taking a leap of faith into the unknown and giving us a chance to succeed. We're never too old or too young to have fun and still do a great job."

There was no jinx for the 13th season of Random Lake summer shows – Thoroughly Modern Millie was another success for Lakeshore Productions, Inc.