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'Thoroughly Modern Millie' a winner


April 16, 2008
Well, folks, Derby Dinner Playhouse has done it again. They have a show that no one should miss. "Thoroughly Modern Millie" has come to town, and everyone should pay the lady a visit before she's leaves on May 11.

The play, based on a movie that was based on a book, tells the story of a young girl from Kansas who comes to New York City seeking fame and fortune in the 1920s.

The play begins with Millie Dillmount, played by Melissa Carlile, arriving in New York with her suitcases. She meets a handsome young man named Jimmy Smith (Tyler Bliss) who is none-too-friendly and advises her to return to Kansas. When she doesn't seem inclined to follow his advice, he tells her about a place called Hotel Priscilla, where she may find a room for the night.

Millie Dillmount (Melissa Carlile), left, and Mrs. Meers (Rita Thomas) share the stage in Derby Dinner Playhouse's "Thoroughly Modern Millie," which will be presented through May 11.
It's a girls-only place, frequented by actress wanna-be's, run by Mrs. Meers (Rita Thomas). As it turns out, it is also a front for a white-slavery ring, and Meers, with her phony Chinese accent, lures unsuspecting girls to her back room and sells them into the white-slavery market. Meers is assisted by two Chinese brothers (Mikhail Pontenila and Tony Lai) who are trying to earn enough money to bring their mother to the United States.

Millie lands a job as a stenographer and plans to marry her boss, not because she loves him, but because it's the modern thing to do. But the boss, Mr. Trevor (Brian Bowman), has other ideas.

This is an easy-to-follow, wonderful musical that delivers every minute throughout the show. The opening dance number is a great performance and makes you realize right off that you're in the company of professionals. The flawless choreography by Barbara F. Cullen is accented by music that takes you back to the 1920s and keeps you there the entire show.

The typewriter scene is fabulous, with creative props that sets the scene so well, you'll feel like it's you that's applying for a job. And the performance of the office manager, Miss Flannery (Heather Folsom), is absolutely hilarious.

Derby Dinner Playhouse, at the end of its 33rd season, never fails to entertain, but this show does it proud. The stage sets are believable and the set changes are smooth and hardly noticeable, which speaks volumes for the stage crew. The costumes are perfect, the songs are joyful, and the cast is as good as it gets.

So, take off your IU sweatshirt (basketball is over), pull on a decent sweater, get your honey by the arm, and escort her down to 525 Marriott Drive in Clarksville to the Derby Dinner Playhouse before May 11.

The delicious buffet style dinner that comes with every ticket, great service that spoils you, and a wonderful show like "Thoroughly Modern Millie" will make you want to come back, time after time.

For reservations, call 1-812-288-8281

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