Thoroughly Entertaining Spring Musical


Gabrielle Daley

Dancers surround Muzzy, played by freshman Sara Lafrance, for a song entitled “Not for the Life of Me”

The 1920s was an era in which people began to see the modern world was at their fingertips, and that anything could be possible if you put your mind to it. Thoroughly Modern Millie took the stage between April 6th and 8th, with no money in her pockets, hoping to make something of her small town self in New York City.  

The show opens with an extravagant number filled with Roaring Twenties tunes and dance choreographed by senior Gabrielle Biseinere. Millie, played by sophomore Faythe Renee, sequentially checks into a hotel for young actresses, makes new friends, especially well off and charming Ms. Dorothy, who was played by sophomore Emma Bowler.

Dancers from “Not for the Life of Me”

After her search for a single boss, endeavoring to marry for money, Millie lands a job as a stenographer for insurance
agent Mr. Trevor Graydon, played by junior Jarrett Allen. Her view of love soon changes when paths cross with the irritable and womanizing Jimmy Smith played by junior Trevor Morin. Their rocky and witty relationship fills the play with sarcastic banter.

Danger arises when orphaned girls who check into the hotel Millie’s staying mysteriously vanish. The antagonist Mrs. Meers, played by junior Nina Bishop, posed as the clueless Chinese owner of the hotel, who secretly induced white slavery by shipping girls off to China with the assistance of her two Chinese speaking bell boys. The audience had nothing but positive comments about Nina Bishop’s outstanding and hilarious performance.

The range of vocal talent to some difficult numbers of the play was very surprising. Although it was a high school performance full of young students, many of  the cast members confidently sang like professionals. With pleasing high vocals and multiple synchronized duets, the singers really made it seem like they’d gone through the motions a hundred times before. Specifically, Faythe Renee’s fast moving duet with Jarrett Allen “The Speed Test,” could be compared to “Mary Poppins’” famous “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Dancers in one of the major cast dances from the production, “The NuttyCracker Suite”
Members of the cast pretend to be prisoners

The crew, set and costume designers also did a superb job enhancing the show. The set was well put together and the lighting was on point. The breaks and set changes were efficient, and the cast was in and out of costumes in no time. The short, loose and swishing dresses, flapper attire, heels, curled hair, sequined headbands, and makeup were accurate to the time period. In addition, Gabrielle Biseinere’s tap and Charleston featured dance numbers gave the show a Roaring Twenties vide. The subtitles to the Chinese portion of the play were a nice touch and added to the show’s realisticness.

On the other hand, the sound wasn’t at its par. Many people watching had trouble hearing the actresses and actors because the microphones were muffled. Freshman Alina Tran commented, “The music was pretty loud and made it hard for me to hear the cast singing.” Freshman Inglyana Yard added during intermission, “The show is great so far. The only negative thing I have to say is that the sound is muffled.”

The cast and crew are very proud of the production, but they’re happy to be relieved of the spotlight and long hours in the building. “This show is so great. Everyone is sad that it’s over, but they’re happy they can catch up on sleep, which I can agree with,” freshman and ensemble member Emma Counter said. “I’m really glad that it went so well. It’s a great experience doing what you love, the practices are very laid back. There’s no stress until showtime, but now it’s over and we can relax,” stated sophomore Emma Bowler.

All in all the show was a hit and by far one of the best musicals the school has very produced. “The opening night was packed. Everyone had nothing but great things to say during intermission,” remarked sophomore Lauren Kenney, who was working at the concession stand. It was an accurate and phenomenal demonstration of West Springfield student talent outside of the classroom. Be sure to catch the drama club’s next production.