INDEPENDENCE — Central High School Performing Arts is going back 100 years to the other ’20s in its production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
It’s the story of Millie Dillmount, who leaves Kansas for New York City in search of a job and wealthy man. Instead, she finds herself living in a hotel in which the owner kidnaps young girls to sell to the Far East — and falling in love with a penniless man.
Wendy Boyack, co-director, said she has always wanted to do this play.
“It fits our kids really well,” said Jeff Witt, co-director.
That’s the most important part about educational theater, he said.
“I just like the light-heartedness of the show,” Wendy Boyack said.
It’s a change from heavier productions, such as “Fiddler on the Roof,” which they put on last year, she said.
“Millie” tackles some serious topics with humor, she said.
“It’s definitely poking fun at stereotypes of women,” Wendy Boyack said. “Women can be strong and have careers and still have feminine qualities.”
The cast, a combination of students with performing arts experience and newcomers, seems enthusiastic about the show, the songs and the flapper era costumes.
Junior Lillian Boyack, who is the lead, said her favorite costume is a beaded blue dress with fringe.
She has been in other performances, and while she said this role is not more difficult than the others, it does demand more energy.
“It asks a lot of me outside of rehearsals,” she said.
She hopes audiences find it funny.
“I have a lot of fun doing it and performing it,” Lillian Boyack said.
Sergrio Roca, an exchange student from Spain, is in the ensemble. He said in Spain he is in 11th grade, but here is a senior.
He’s done other plays, but this is his first musical.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I get to be in a musical in the United States,” he said, with a huge grin.
He expressed similar enthusiasm about participating in CHS’s choir.
Carsyn Cole, a senior who transferred to CHS this year, plays Muzzy Van Hossmere, a famous singer.
“It’s nice to spend senior year doing something I love,” she said. “It’s a really fun play. It’s a great decade — the 1920s are the best.”
See the show
What: “Thoroughly Modern Millie”
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 13 – 15 and Feb. 19 – 22; 2 p.m Feb. 15
Where: Central High School Auditorium, 1530 Monmouth St., Independence