As previously reported on Playbill On-Line, the Michael Mayer staging of the Jeanine Tesori-Dick Scanlan musical comedy will launch at Kansas City, Missouri's Starlight Theater, July 15-20. Borrowing from the Dorothy-in-Oz myth, the title character is a Kansas girl who seeks adventure and a rich husband in the Oz-worthy New York City of 1922.
The original design and creative team (including Tony Award-winning costume designer Martin Pakledinaz and Tony-winning choreographer Rob Ashford) will be a part of the fresh tour, which is expected to be more scenically spare than at Broadway's Marquis, where the show won the 2002 Best Musical Tony Award, and where Sutton Foster, a longtime ensemble actress in tours and on Broadway, was made a star (she took home the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical).
The cast of the tour is not expected to be star-driven, but the creators will likely bring to the regions what was brought to Broadway — fresh faces in a show that is largely about bubbling youth. Casting is ongoing and rehearsals begin in late spring.
Millie engagements announced so far include the Music Hall in Dallas (July 22-Aug. 3), Belk Theatre in Charlotte, NC (Sept. 23-28), Wharton Center in East Lansing, MI (Oct. 14-19), Ahmanson Theatre is Los Angeles (May 18-July 25, 2004). Green Bay, WI, is expected to announce dates, as will many others markets.
The musical is inspired by the 1967 film of the same name, but deviates from the score and story to create a hybrid Broadway original. The libretto is by the late Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, with lyrics by Scanlan and music by Jeanine Tesori. The score includes nine new songs, two film songs and interpolations of period and classical numbers (would you believe a little "Nutcracker" and an Arthur Sullivan patter tune?). Musical direction is by Michael Rafter, with design by David Gallo (scenic), Donald Holder (lighting) and Jon Weston (sound).
Thoroughly Modern Millie is presented by Michael Leavitt, Fox Theatricals and Hal Luftig, with Stewart F. Lane, James L. Nederlander, Independent Presenters Network, L. Mages/M. Glick, D. Berinstein/J. Manocherian/Dramatic Forces, John York Noble and Whoopi Goldberg.