By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson
14 Oct 1999
Rehearsals for Fox Theatricals' workshop of the stage musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, ongoing for several weeks, will culminate in a 2:30 PM reading for industry people Oct. 15 at the Lamb's Theatre.
Kristin Chenoweth (Epic Proportions, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Marc Kudisch (The Scarlet Pimpernel) and Beatrice Arthur (Fiddler on the Roof, Mame) are in the cast, directed by Michael Mayer.
The workshop, like all workshops, is a chance for the producers and potential producers, as well as the creative team, to see the progress and possibilities of the "new" work.
The project is based on the 1967 film musical comedy directed by George Roy Hill. The picture, a 1920s spoof, starred Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, Beatrice Lillie, John Gavin, James Fox, Carol Channing, Jack Soo and Pat Morita.
The film's comic pastiche songs, vaguely recalling The Boyfriend, are being used in the stage version, but Jeanine Tesori (Violet) is also adding new tunes to the show.
A previous workshop was held in New York City May 17-June 26, 1999. David Marquez was choreographer, Michael Rafter was musical director.
Elmer Bernstein's score for the film won him an Oscar, but he contributed only the underscoring, not the tunes. He said in an interview that he thought Academy Award voters were possibly confused about his contribution to the film, and gave him the award.