"New, improved and rearranged,
It's ever-changing, yet it's never changed.
Life on command!
Hear what I'm saying: Oh, but it's grand!"
— Thoroughly Modern Millie

In 2003, we released an hour-long version of COMPACT BROADWAY as a demo to give people a sense of what our program would sound like. The show we chose to spotlight was Thoroughly Modern Millie, the musical that had most recently won the Tony Award® for Best Musical. Although the format of COMPACT BROADWAY has evolved and changed since we first produced this demo, this is the show that opened the door for us at National Public Radio and paved the way for our pilot on Avenue Q.

Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 movie of the same name, starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing. But the stage version is not just an adaptation of the film — it's a brand new musical that re-imagines the story of Millie Dillmount, a small town girl who leaves her Kansas home to start a new life as a "modern" in New York City during the roaring 1920s. Although she first comes to the big city on a quest to find adventure and a wealthy husband, she instead discovers love, and ultimately, herself.
The company of Thoroughly Modern Millie
The company of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

The Broadway production opened at the Marquis Theatre on April 18, 2002, and Thoroughly Modern Millie received 11 nominations for the 2002 Tony Awards®. The show went on to receive 6 awards, including Best Musical, Choreography (Rob Ashford), Costume Design (Martin Pakledinaz) and Orchestrations (Doug Besterman & Ralph Burns), as well as the awards for Best Actress (Sutton Foster) and Featured Actress (Harriet Harris) in a Musical. After 903 performances, the Broadway run of Thoroughly Modern Millie ended on June 20, 2004.

Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori
Dick Scanlan
and Jeanine Tesori.

For our demo spotlighting Thoroughly Modern Millie, COMPACT BROADWAY host Douglas Young welcomes lyricist and librettist Dick Scanlan, who reveals how he first got the idea to transform Millie into a stage musical and what it took to turn that dream into a reality. Dick's collaborator and composer Jeanine Tesori joins the conversation to discuss how they work as a song-writing team and together they tell the story of creating their favorite song in the show.


Susan Haefner
and Kevin R. Free.

Going from the creators behind the scenes to the performers onstage, Gavin Creel (the actor who originated the role of Jimmy Smith on Broadway) shares what it was like for him to make his Broadway debut in Millie and how he almost missed the opening night performance. Then, to find out how understudies prepare for their roles, our correspondent Kevin R. Free goes backstage at the Marquis Theatre to interview Susan Haefner and Catherine Brunell.


Catherine Brunell
and Kevin R. Free.

Finally, our show concludes as actress Sutton Foster recounts her amazing story of how she went from being a 10 year-old playing the title role in a community theatre production of Annie to winning the Tony Award for her performance as the title character of Millie Dillmount. Sutton not only reveals her favorite song from Millie, but also where she keeps that highly prized Tony Award.

Gavin Creel and Sutton Foster
Gavin Creel
and Sutton Foster.

If you would like to hear the COMPACT BROADWAY demo spotlighting Thoroughly Modern Millie, you can access our demo online. By clicking on one of the following links, you can choose to listen to segments of the demo or you can hear Act One and Act Two in their entirety. In addition to interviews, our demo also includes excerpts of songs from Thoroughly Modern Millie and a playlist follows the link in each section.

Act One (30:00)

Opening (2:09)
"Overture"

Interview with Dick Scanlan (11:46)
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" - "Only in New York"
"Final Bows"

Interview with D. Scanlan & J. Tesori (12:39)
"Long as I'm Here with You" - "They Don't Know" - "The Speed Test" - "Gimme Gimme" - "I Turned the Corner"

Interview with Gavin Creel (Part 1 - 3:44)
"I Turned the Corner/I'm Falling in Love with Someone"

Act Two (30:00)

Interview with Gavin Creel (Part 2 - 9:00)
"Final Bows" - "What Do I Need with Love?" - "The Nuttycracker Suite" - "What Do I Need with Love?"

Segment on the Role of the Understudy (8:12)
"Overture" - "Forget About the Boy" - "The Speed Test"

Interview with Sutton Foster (10:57)
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" - "Not for the Life of Me" - "Jimmy" - "Gimme Gimme"

Closing (1:48)
"Final Bows"

If you experience any difficulties in accessing the audio clips, please contact us at comments@compactbroadway.com.

 

Still can't get enough of Millie? Then we suggest you visit the following sites:


Gavin Creel
and Sutton Foster.
Your first stop has to be the RCA Victor site for Thoroughly Modern Millie. Not only can you get a complete list of songs included on the Original Broadway Cast Recording, but you can also hear excerpts of the songs online.

Although the Broadway production has closed, you can still explore the official site of Thoroughly Modern Millie, where you can find more information about the production, including photos and biographies of the cast, creative staff and producers. Meanwhile, the National Tour of Millie continues with performances through May 2005. For a complete list of dates and locations, visit ModernMillieTour.com.

And finally, if you want to learn more about a couple of the guests on our demo, we suggest you check out the web sites for Sutton Foster (now starring as Jo March in the Broadway production of Little Women) and Gavin Creel (currently back on stage at the Marquis Theatre, this time appearing as Jean-Michel in the revival of La Cage aux Folles).

 

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