I held my breath as I walked into the auditorium for fear of a sweltering few hours. I relaxed as I realised the air con was in full flow and settled down ready to be transported back to the New Jazz Age of 20s America. Thoroughly Modern Millie was originally a 1950s stage musical, then adapted for the 1960s film starring Julie Andrews and now a 2002 Broadway Show.
Adorable Kansas born and bred, Millie is thrown in at the deep end of bustling Manhattan. She attempts to keep her head above water, pay her rent and make her boss fall in love with her. And this is where my main problem with the musical lies.
Some songs slipped under the radar and they could’ve made more of the bigger, well known numbers such as “Gimmie Gimmie” and “Forget about the boy”. “The Speed Test” had the best choreography from the show, combining simple yet effective tap dancing with desks on wheels. The choreography from the rest of the show was of a good yet unexciting standard.
I will say that the show was genuinely funny. Slapstick that had the audience wiping away tears after a drunk scene, that worked their gags until the edge of annoyance. Plenty of quick wit and simplistic humour kept us giggling. There was also an interesting twist of a borderline racist bad guy posing as a geisha-girl hotel receptionist.
The production was good. Good being a carefully chosen word. Nothing particularly shone but there wasn’t a really weak element. Despite the dated story that desperately needs updating, for a piece of light hearted entertainment that you take for face value, it ticks all the boxes.