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A Thoroughly Enjoyable Musical – a review

By Joe Canberran - 7 March 2008 2

It’s not often enough I go and see live theatre. Live music; yes. Movies; yes. Live musical theatre; it’s been a while. Well I’ve just been reminded of what I’ve been missing.

The Canberra Philharmonic Society is half way through it’s season of Thoroughly Modern Millie and it is great! For a old fashioned musical with what is a truefully lame name it is a fantastic production. For those, like me, who aren’t familiar with Millie it’s set in 1920’s New york with our heroine, Millie Dillmount, played here brilliantly by Georgia Pike, a fresh faced country girl arriving in the big smoke with the “modern” concept of looking to marry a man for money not love. So it’s a love story. Then add to this a white slavery ring shipping young lovelies off to China. So it’s also a comedy.

What blew me away was the talent. Georgia and the other cast members almost unanimously nail (there is a bit part police office who sounds a little ocker) the 1920’s American accent in both the spoken and singing parts, the singing is great with Georgia and Daniel Wells (who plays trevor Graydon – Millie’s boss) being my standouts and the costumes, sets and choreography are all fantasic. Almost everyone is singing, tapdancing and pulling off comedy, much of the comedy reminiscent of Gilbert and Sulliavan stuff (the Speed Test being very “Modern Major General”).

Tickets are $45 for non-philo members (cheaper for concessions, kids, etc) and you can book online here but if you aren’t picky about which date you go it’s worth having a look late in the day as you may be able to pick up a cheap seat (a couple sitting near me pick up some late specials at $25 a head). It’s playing Wednesday to Saturday evenings with a matinée Saturday afternoon until the 15th of March.

A rundown of the musical (in general, not this production in particular) can be found here on Wikipedia.

If you do go along it’s worth taking a peak into the pit. The Philo is backed by a Orchestra directed/conducted by Craig Johnson and they do a “top notch” job to quote the Crimes, the violin, flute and tuba players in particular. The trombone player’s bloody great to to be honest.

Hope you make it, it’s worth it.

What’s Your opinion?


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2 Responses to
A Thoroughly Enjoyable Musical – a review
Ozhair 8:58 am 11 Mar 08

I’ll second Joe’s comments. Went and saw the show on Saturday and thought it was great. I’m probably a bit biased as I know half the cast, but they did a really good job. Georgia was delightful as Millie, Daniel has a great voice and nice comedic timing, and the Chinese boys do some of the best “subtitle acting” I’ve seen in years 🙂

needlenose 11:10 pm 07 Mar 08

Actually the “Speed Test” was introduced to TMM for the Broadway revival a few years ago, and it is in fact the patter song from G&S’s “Ruddigore”. The Australian production of “Pirates of Penzance” also pinched it a year or two ago. (It’s a shame someone doesn’t just put on Ruddigore itself – it’s a lot of fun).

I’m going to this next Thursday and looking forward to it – I know some of those musicians and they are first rate.

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