The glitz, glam and aptitude of the 1920s will hit Liberty College’s stage Friday when its manufacturing of the six-time Tony Award-successful musical “Completely Modern Millie” opens.
Primarily based on the 1967 movie of the identical identify, “Completely Modern Millie” follows small-city woman Millie Dillmount, who has simply moved to New York Metropolis with the objective of touchdown a job within the skilled world and marrying her wealthy boss — a contemporary purpose for a lady in 1922. Her plan rapidly goes awry when she falls for service trade employee Jimmy Smith and crosses paths with a white slavery ring.
“It is a fairly demanding function,” says junior Hannah Mehl, who performs Millie within the manufacturing. “I feel she’s offstage for 2 scenes in the whole present. She has a whole lot of traces, a whole lot of songs and a whole lot of dances. … [Last week] was the primary day we did Act One simply straight by way of so as. Midway by way of I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, we nonetheless have a good distance left to go.’ This can be a actually good take a look at of stamina.”
LU’s manufacturing has utterly embraced the 1920s setting of the musical with fringe-coated flapper clothes and bob hairstyles for the ladies in addition to set items that seize the artwork deco motion that burst onto the scene in the midst of the last decade.
“What you are going to get is definite forms of angles, particular traces, arches and sort of a metallic look,” says professor Neal Brasher, who directed the manufacturing. “… Folks had been actually embracing the trendy, the progressive, the technologically vital. It’s if you had buildings just like the Empire State Constructing and the Chrysler Constructing in New York constructed.”
This aesthetic has additionally made its manner into the manufacturing’s dance numbers, which had been choreographed by division alumna Rachel Osterhus.
“It form of reminds us that we're doing good work right here, coaching folks to exit and really work,” Brasher says of bringing the 2014 graduate in to work on the musical. “Additionally, it’s good for our present college students as a result of it lets them know that individuals who graduated from right here, graduated from Liberty, are going out, they’re getting work, they’re changing into professionals. So it’s encouraging for our pupil physique as properly.”
Osterhus, who lately returned to Lynchburg to star in Alluvion Stage Firm’s manufacturing of “Newsies,” took on the job of incorporating the favored ’20s types, just like the Charleston, waltz and foxtrot, into her routines.
“There’s nothing about 1920s that is not enjoyable,” Osterhus says. “… Mr. Brasher highlighted loads that he needed the dance to make sense throughout the story. Despite the fact that it’s musical theater, we’re not simply going to randomly bust into track and dance for the sake of dancing and hurrah and jazz-fingers kind issues. He needed it to play an vital half throughout the storyline.”
Osterhus additionally had the duty of staging the present’s two well-liked faucet numbers. A kind of numbers, “The Pace Take a look at,” sees Millie testing for the place of stenographer throughout which the tapping of the solid’s sneakers acts because the clacking of keys on the workplace typewriters.
Osterhus needed to discover a option to steadiness the stenographers, who faucet whereas sitting at their desks, and the lads, who're pushing the desks across the stage, with each the non-tapping and tapping file clerks with out making it really feel too chaotic.
“Essentially the most troublesome factor about faucet on this context of this present is the truth that you have got lots of people tapping directly,” she says. “Faucet is a kind of issues the place when everyone’s on, it sounds superb; when there’s one or two folks off, you hear the sounds and it sort of muddies all the things up.”
When completed proper, nevertheless, a great faucet quantity, like these in “Completely Modern Millie,” can take the present to a complete new degree.
“When you may very clearly hear the rhythms and they’re pleasing to the ear of an viewers member, it’s only a complete further ingredient that brings a ton extra vitality to the stage,” provides Osterhus.
This extra vitality suits properly with the thrill and bustle related to the Roaring 20s in addition to the charisma, comedy and lovability of Millie and the characters that encompass her onstage, says Mehl.
“She’s naive and to see her battle by way of all of that and come out as a winner, if you'll, come out triumphant in the long run, that is an everlasting factor that folks like to see,” Brasher says. “We love to drag for the underdog.”