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Thoroughly Modern comedy hits the stage at LSS

Broadway hit, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a ‘comedic tour-de-force’ that features plenty of catchy show tunes
Millie Dillmount (played by Emma Garland) escapes to the Big Apple from small-town Salina, Kansas in LSS’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Revelling in 1920s flapper style, Dillmount embarks on what was a thoroughly modern quest for a woman in New York in 1922 — to marry for money instead of for love; below: Millie demonstrates her singing chops for Dorothy Carnegie Mellon Vanderbilt Van Hossmere (LSS classmate Alanna Moore) during the first act of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Feb. 27 to March 8 at the school.

Theatre lovers are in for a treat as Langley Secondary School’s (LSS) musical theatre class gets set to launch their rendition of the 2002 Broadway hit, Thoroughly Modern Millie, on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the school.

“It’s a great musical,” said co-director and LSS teacher Brian Leonard during the group’s Feb. 22 dress rehearsal. “It’s so funny.”

Based on a 1967 film of the same name starring Julie Andrews, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of small-town girl Millie Dillmount — played by Grade 12 student Emma Garland — who arrives in flapper-era 1920s New York City with big, modern ambitions to marry for money instead of love.

Dillmount is quickly brought back to reality after losing all her belongings in a mugging and coming face-to-face with a hotel owner who is also the leader of a white slavery ring in China.

Despite the quasi-serious subject matter, Leonard insists audiences will delight in a comedic tour-de-force he compares to many Shakespeare comedies — plenty of hijinks and cases of mistaken identity, but with a happy ending for everyone.

The cast, which includes students from both LSS and H.D. Stafford Middle School, has been rehearsing since September for the two-week run.

“Now that we have the band here, it changes the atmosphere entirely,” Grade 12 student Clarissa Gutowski said on Saturday.

Her character, Mrs. Meers, is the show’s villain, a part Gutowski says is fun to play.

“It’s been a long and slow sort of build up … but now that we’re so close to our first show it’s so exciting,” she said.

Langley audiences can expect something for everyone, from colourful art deco scenery and classic flapper style, to challenging high-energy music and dance.

“It’s a great musical for (having) lots of parts for lots of kids,” said Leonard, explaining that one of the most unique components of the class, which takes place Monday nights, is that every student gets a part.

“We don’t say no to anyone, we build more of a community.”

In that vein, LSS’s shop class has contributed props, art teachers and students have assisted with set design, and the musical’s full-piece band, led by music teacher Patti Thorpe, is made up of current students, recent graduates and community players.

Shows take place at 7 p.m. at LSS, 21405 56 Ave. on Feb. 27 and 28, as well as March 1, 6, 7 and 8. There will also be 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

To reserve, call the school at 604-534-4171 ext. 743


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