Tari Kelly, Beth Leavel, Leslie Uggams, Andrew Samonsky, Stephen Buntrock Set for Muny Thoroughly Modern Millie

By Andrew Gans
May 11, 2012

Tari Kelly, whose Broadway credits include Anything Goes, Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, Show Boat, The Boy From Oz and more, will star in the title role of the St. Louis Muny's upcoming production of the Tony-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.



Directed by Marc Bruni and choreographed by Chris Bailey, the musical will play the famed outdoor venue June 18-24.

Kelly will be joined by Tony winners Beth Leavel and Leslie Uggams as, respectively, the evil Mrs. Meers and Muzzy, a role Uggams also played on Broadway. The principal cast will also include Andrew Samonsky as Jimmy, Megan McGinnis as Miss Dorothy, Stephen Buntrock as Trevor Graydon, Francis Jue as Ching Ho, Darren Lee as Bun Foo and Tory Ross as Miss Flannery.

Based on the 1967 film by Richard Morris, Thoroughly Modern Millie has a book by Dick Scanlan and Richard Morris, new music by Jeanine Tesori and new lyrics by Scanlan. The musical, according to the Muny, "tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce."

The Muny production will feature scenic design by Sam and Steve Gilliam, sound design by Jason Krueger, lighting design by Seth Jackson and costume coordination by Tracy Christensen. Michael Horsley serves as the musical director, and the production stage manager is Peter Hynds.

"This is a thrilling cast to kick-off our 94th season," said executive producer Mike Isaacson in a statement. "This group of performers promises to make some serious Millie magic on our grand stage."

To purchase season tickets call (314) 361-1900, ext. 550, or order online at www.muny.org. Single tickets will be available beginning June 2.

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Beth Leavel

The season will continue with John Kander and Fred Ebb's Tony-winning Chicago, which runs June 25-July 1 and will feature direction and choreography by Denis Jones and musical direction by Charlie Alterman.

The Color Purple's Gary Griffin will direct Disney's Aladdin, which will play the outside venue July 5-13. The production will be choreographed by Alex Sanchez with musical direction by Greg Anthony.

Robert Clater will direct and Lesia Kaye will choreograph Dreamgirls, which will boast a cast led by the musical's original Tony-winning star, Jennifer Holliday. Performance dates are July 16-22; musical director is Darren Ledbetter.

"American Idol" finalist Justin Guarini will star in the title role of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which runs July 23-29. The production will be directed and choreographed by Lara Teeter with musical direction by Michael Horsley.

Gordon Greenberg will direct Pirates! (or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder'd), which runs July 30-Aug 5. The creative team also includes choreographer Dennis Jones and music director Ben Whiteley.

The season will conclude Aug. 6-12 with Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. The classic musical will be directed by Rob Ruggiero with choreography by Ralph Perkins and musical direction by Brad Haak.