What did Michael Mayer find fascinating about directing Thoroughly Modern Millie? Among other things, issues of stereotypes, race and perception, he told Playbill On Line. For the July 9-15 Playbill On-Line Brief Encounter interview, Mayer said, "The idea of perception and race is really interesting to me. The fact that that kind of conversation can happen in what is ostensibly a light-hearted, bland musical comedy, that's really exciting. You've got a scene at the end of Act Two where you've got an African American woman in a blonde wig pretending to be Swedish and confronting a Caucasian woman doing the most grotesque 'Yellowface' that you can imagine. They both represent the powers of good and evil coming at each other. To me, that's just so — wacky. And unexpected. You just don't expect that kind of presentation in a musical comedy. That's exciting — the opportunity to surprise an audience."
To view the signature Playbill On-Line Q&A with Mayer, click here.
— By Kenneth Jones