|Thoroughly Enjoyable Millie|
REVIEW by Willard Manus
-- In 2002 THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE won the Tony for Best New Musical,
and while the production at the Ahmanson Theatre lacks the star--Sutton
Foster--who evidently was largely responsible for the Broadway success,
it has plenty to offer in its own right, beginning with Darcie Roberts,
the brass-lunged singer who plays Millie.
A case in point is the scene in which Trevor Graydon (Sean Allan Krill) and Dorothy Brown (Diana Kaarina) gaze dreamily at each other and suddenly start chirping Victor Herbert's shmaltzy "I'm Falling In Love With Someone."
Kaarina, Krill and Joey Sorge (as Millie's hearthrob Jimmy Smith) give the show its backbone; each is an outstanding singer and actor. The show's star is Darcie Roberts, who makes up in personality and musicality what she might lack as an actress. Tall and pixieish, Roberts sings, smiles and dances up a storm, and makes a thoroughly enjoyable Millie.
Pamela Isaacs as the gold-digging Muzzy Van Hossmere, Hollis Resnik as Mrs Meers, the faux-Chinese white slaver, and Darren Lee and Andrew Pang as her reluctant partners in crime, also contribute winning performances.
MILLIE gets much help from its creative crew: David Gallo (set design), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes) and Donald Holder (lights). Together with director Michael Mayer and choreographer Rob Ashford, they give the show its considerable razzle-dazzle.
At the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave. thru July 25. Call (213) 628-2772 or visit TaperAhmanson.com