Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.
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Show Essentials
16
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

It's 1922, and Millie Dillmount has arrived in New York City from Salina, Kansas. She is scared and excited to be there ("Not for the Life of Me/Thoroughly Modern Millie.") Surrounded by "moderns," Millie is a fish out of water. Determined to make it, she raises her skirt, bobs her hair and joins the "thoroughly modern" crowd of New York.

Millie is then mugged and asks a passerby, Jimmy Smith, for help. He tells her to go back to Kansas and, when Millie refuses, suggests she check into the Hotel Priscilla — a rooming house for actresses. The defiant Millie plans on staying and making her mark in the big city ("Not for the Life of Me – Tag").

A week later, at the Hotel Priscilla, the girls bemoan not getting any acting roles, but they aren't leaving the excitement of the city. Ethel brings in a newspaper that has a headline of "White Slavery," going on to say that many young girls, mostly orphans, have suddenly disappeared without anyone noticing.

The hotel is run by Mrs. Meers, a former actress-turned-criminal, who has adopted the guise of a kindly Chinese proprietress to mask her real profession: white slavery. She gives Ethel a telegram that says her great uncle has died, and she is now an orphan... making her Mrs. Meers' next victim.

Millie enters and is told she must leave because she is behind on her rent. Lucky for her, Miss Dorothy Brown arrives at the Hotel Priscilla, and Millie makes a deal to share her room with the newcomer if she pays the rent. Dorothy agrees, and they quickly become friends as they learn about each other's desires. Mrs. Meers offers Ethel's newly vacated room to Miss Dorothy, who reveals that she is an orphan. Mrs. Meers is so happy about this news that she allows Millie to stay.

In the laundry room of the hotel, Ching Ho and Bun Foo are folding towels when Mrs. Meers enters and tells Bun Foo to take Ethel to Buddha (her buyer in the slave trade) and collect the money. Ching Ho is ordered to take a snack to the new arrival, Miss Dorothy. We discover the boys are working here to save money to bring their mother over from Hong Kong ("Not for the Life of Me – Reprise"). Later that afternoon, Millie arrives at the Sincere Trust Insurance Company to interview with Trevor Graydon the Third, who needs a stenographer... and who is also single. She plans to find a successful man for whom to work... and eventually marry. Miss Flannery, the office manager, makes it clear that she doesn't like this "modern" Millie. In spite of Flannery, Millie aces the interview and gets the job ("The Speed Test").

At the hotel, Ching Ho sees Miss Dorothy for the first time and is instantly smitten. Mrs. Meers' attempts to poison Miss Dorothy with an apple are thwarted.

Millie takes the girls out on the town to celebrate her new job. While looking for a speakeasy, they run into Jimmy Smith, who gets them into an exclusive club. A wild dance ensues right before the joint is raided. With time in jail to think, Jimmy reconsiders his feelings towards Millie ("What Do I Need with Love").

The next morning, Jimmy invites Millie to a Yankees game, which she turns down, explaining how she can't miss work since she is trying to get her boss to marry her. They are nose-to-nose when Jimmy grabs Millie and kisses her. Millie is surprised and kisses him back. Jimmy exits in a panic, leaving her alone to figure out how she feels ("Jimmy"). On cloud nine, she heads home and spots Jimmy sneaking out of Miss Dorothy's room. Millie is in shock.

Back at work, Millie refuses to take Jimmy's calls. Her sisterhood of stenographers, Flannery included, supports her stance ("Forget about the Boy").

Millie tries to get Graydon to notice her, but to no avail. Miss Dorothy arrives and reminds Millie of last night, but the two ladies eventually make up. Graydon enters and sees Miss Dorothy; they stare at one another and find love at first sight ("Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life/I'm Falling in Love with Someone").

Jimmy has crawled out onto a window ledge at Sincere Trust in order to avoid Flannery and to get Millie's attention. He declares his feelings for her ("I Turned a Corner"), and she echos them back. They decide to go on a real date. In the midst of a quartet of Millie, Jimmy, Graydon and Miss Dorothy professing their love, Ching Ho enters and professes his love for Miss Dorothy.

Meanwhile, back at the Hotel Priscilla, Mrs. Meers is still stalking Miss Dorothy... this time with pesticide spray guns. When Ching Ho balks, Mrs. Meers reminds him that he is trying to get his mother to New York ("Muqin").

That night, at Cafe Society, Millie and Jimmy listen to the show ("Long as I'm Here with You") from the kitchen, where they are washing dishes to pay their bill, which they didn't have the money to cover. Millie tells Jimmy that they are not right for each other because she doesn't want a lifetime of washing dishes in a restaurant kitchen. Jimmy tells Millie that her plan to marry her boss is flawed because marriage has everything to do with love. Jimmy asks Millie to marry him, and a confused Millie abruptly leaves Jimmy to consider his advice ("Gimme Gimme").

Millie discovers a distraught Mr. Graydon: Miss Dorothy has stood him up. Jimmy, who is looking for Millie and runs into both of them, is convinced that something is very wrong. The three conclude that Mrs. Meers must be behind the white slavery ring and hatch a plan to stop her.

Miss Flannery enters the Hotel Priscilla disgusied as an ingenue, wearing a blond wig and carrying a beat-up suticase. Although Mrs. Meers thinks the new girl is a little long in the tooth to be an orphan, she welcomes her to the hotel. Meanwhile, Ching Ho vows to help the gagged and tied-up Miss Dorothy.

Mrs. Meers makes a phone call to Buddha about the new orphan and gives the others all the proof they need to get Mrs. Meers put behind bars ("The Speed Test – Reprise"). They demand to know where Miss Dorothy is, discovering her in an embrace with Ching Ho, who has rescued her from an unspeakable fate ("Ah! Sweet Mystery – Reprise"). Miss Flannery escorts Mrs. Meers to the police station.

Jimmy proposes to Millie and, even though he is poor, she accepts... only to find out that Jimmy is Herbert J. Van Hossmere the Third, and Miss Dorothy is Jimmy's sister. As the couples embrace, the stage is filled with "moderns," echoing the opening of the show ("Finale"). A new young girl in her Sunday best carrying a suitcase surveys her surroundings with awed excitement and strikes Millie's opening pose.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Millie Dillmount
Millie is the sweet, classic ingénue with pluck. The role requires excellent vocal chops; in fact, no other character in the Broadway Junior collection of shows sings as much as Millie. The role of Millie is the perfect star turn for that extra special performer. Cast a young woman with an excellent Broadway style voice with lots of stamina. Millie must also have charisma, a great sense of comedy, good acting skills and be able to hold her own as a dancer.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G#3
Jimmy
Jimmy is our male counterpart to Millie. Self-assured and cocky, cast a Jimmy who is charming, a great singer, a reasonable mover and who has a good sense of comic timing. Jimmy should be attractive in a cute, goofy sort of way.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Mrs. Meers
Mrs. Meers is the villain of our story. Think Cruella DeVille meets Miss Hannigan. Cast an over-the-top "scenery chewer" who has an excellent sense of comedic timing.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Miss Dorothy
Miss Dorothy is the perfect role for a young lady with a voice that is more classical than Broadway. She should be attractive, a good actress and should contrast physically with Millie.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: F#4
Miss Flannery
Miss Flannery is the office manager. She's uptight (think librarian) and stern, a real no-nonsense kind of gal. Cast an up-and-comer who's not quite ready for a huge lead, but is definitely ready to break out of the chorus. Having tap skills and a good sense of comedy are definite pluses for this gem of a role.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A4
Ching Ho

Ching Ho and Bun Foo are brothers and emigrants from China. These two are working to bring their dear mother to the United States from China. While it's nice to cast performers of Asian descent in these roles, it is not always possible. These characters must learn some Chinese, so cast kids who live for great challenges and have a keen sense of adventure. Ching Ho must be played by a boy and is the more demanding role; Bun Foo can be played by a girl. These characters sing, dance, and act, all in Chinese.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Bun Foo

Ching Ho and Bun Foo are brothers and emigrants from China. These two are working to bring their dear mother to the United States from China. While it's nice to cast performers of Asian descent in these roles, it is not always possible. These characters must learn some Chinese, so cast kids who live for great challenges and have a keen sense of adventure. Ching Ho must be played by a boy and is the more demanding role; Bun Foo can be played by a girl. These characters sing, dance, and act, all in Chinese.

Gender: any
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Trevor Graydon the Third

Trevor Graydon the Third is Millie's boss and she's determined to marry him. Cast your best-looking singer who's not afraid to be a bit of a goof ball.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Hotel Priscilla Girls
The Hotel Priscilla Girls are the fellow boarders at the Hotel Priscilla. If possible vary them widely in size, shape, color and attitude. They should be good singers and actresses. The girls with solo lines include: Ruth, Gloria, Rita, Alice, Cora, Lucille and Ethel Peas.
Gender: female
Mama
Mama is Ching Ho and Bun Foo's mother from China. She makes a surprise cameo appearance during the finale of the show. This is a great walk-on part for the principal, a local celebrity or parent. No singing, no dancing involved.
Gender: female
Ensemble
The cast can be expanded in many ways and in many places. You can augment the ladies staying at the Hotel Priscilla. Street scenes, the speakeasy, the jail scene, etc. offer innumerable opportunities for many, many students to participate.
Gender: any
Full Song List
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Overture
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Not for the Life of Me/Thoroughly Modern Millie
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Not for the Life of Me (Tag)
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Not for the Life of Me (Reprise)
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Office Crossover
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: The Speed Test
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: The Nuttycracker Suite
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: What Do I Need With Love
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Jimmy
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Forget About the Boy
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life/I'm Falling in Love with Someone
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: I Turned the Corner
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Muqin
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Long as I'm Here with You
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Gimme Gimme
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: The Speed Test (Reprise)
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Finale
Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.: Bows

Connect

Curriculum Connection

  • Foreign Languages
  • Dictation
  • Immigration
  • Ancestry
  • Feminism
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • New York City
  • Friendships

Billing

Original Story and Screenplay by Richard Morris for the Universal Pictures Filmoan.

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Author Billing – Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.
 
In accordance with the Dramatic Performing Rights License, all advertising, such as posters and program covers, must include the show logo as provided in the ShowKit® Director's Guide and all of the following author billing.
It is a violation of your contract if you crop or edit this logo in any way.
[Name of School]
Production of
Book by
RICHARD MORRIS & DICK SCANLAN
 
New Music By
JEANINE TESORI
 
New Lyrics By
DICK SCANLAN
 
The billing to you must be in the form specified above, including the words "Production of" below your billing, which shall be visually contiguous with the title, all so that the audience is informed that you are the producer. Your billing shall be no less than 50% of the size of the logo or artwork title, as measured by the proportion of the average size your billing to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title.
The size of credits to the authors shall be no less than 20% of the artwork or logo title as measured by the proportion of the average size of their names to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources

Resource
CHORUS BOOK TEN PAK
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTER
FAMILY MATTERS
FAMILY MATTERS (PACK OF 10)
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
STUDENT BOOK TENPACK
STUDENT REHEARSAL CD