Students prepare for spring musical ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’


Kayla Duffey and Samantha Raey-Gonzales rehearse for ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie.’ Photo by Kayla Hung

With the spring musical approaching, students cast in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” are preparing to perform in just over a month —  and under the direction of a new guest director. The award-winning Broadway musical, set in the 1920s, is about a girl who travels to New York City to marry for wealth. When unprecedented problems arise, she realizes that she would rather have sincere love than money.

The musical, like the fall play, has been double-cast with the Long Island cast and Manhattan cast.

Miss Dorothy Brown, Californian actress and best friend of Millie (Angie Reed), is played by Kayla Duffey in the Long Island cast. Duffey found it easy to get into character because her motivations are similar to Dorothy’s.

“Miss Dorothy is a very happy-go-lucky and poised character who just wants to experience life… So in that aspect, it was very easy to connect with her,” Duffey said.

Kyle Dowd plays male lead and wealthy salesman Jimmy Smith in the Manhattan cast. He said he enjoys the goofiness of the musical and how all of the roles are caricatures — the characters’ personalities are exaggerated for a comical effect.

“It’s fun to be able to exaggerate [the characters’] attributes because it heightens the entertainment value,” Dowd said.

Mrs. Hilliker, who has taken a temporary leave due to unknown circumstances, is unable to direct the musical as she typically does. In her place, Mrs. Victoria Sanders has taken over as guest director.

“[Mrs. Sanders] has honestly been so amazing. She’s been super efficient given the time crunch and has given us the direction we needed,” Duffey said.

Rehearsals for the musical take place Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. and 1-6 p.m. on Mondays. Depending on the day, cast members will either block and run through scenes or learn songs or choreography.

Despite the positive experiences that being part of a musical brings, the process of working toward opening night can prove to be difficult for an actor.

“The most challenging part about being in a musical is being patient for the show to come together. It can be stressful getting bits and pieces, but it always works out in the end,” Duffey said.

Andrew Duffey, an avid attendee of the school plays and musicals, looks forward to seeing his sister, Kayla, each time she performs.

“I enjoy watching the musicals because they present a fun and entertaining performance,” Andrew Duffey said.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” will be performed beginning Feb. 25, continuing into the weekend and later the following week. Tickets may be purchased here or at the door for $12, and $8 for seniors, students with an ASB card and children under the age of 12.