Jamey Strawn typically likes to find a new way to spin the productions he’s directing. Last spring he transported “Into the Woods” into a library, but Strawn won’t be tinkering with “Thoroughly Modern Millie” quite as much.
“‘Millie’ is a pretty new piece in this area,” Strawn said. “It hasn’t really been done a ton so I’ll probably be a little more straightforward with this one, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
Dick Scanlan and Richard Henry Morris’ “Thoroughly Modern Millie” follows Millie Dillmount around 1920s New York City, jumping from job to job in search of a rich boss to marry and better her status in life.
The musical puts a lot of focus on the 1920s world, featuring lots of tap dancing, flappers and jazz music composed by Jeanine Tsori.
“I’m really excited to promote her work because there are few female composers in the broadway world, so I think it’s great for us to champion a piece that’s written by a woman,” Strawn said.
Right now “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is in the pre-production stage with Strawn and the crew designing the set, costuming, filling out the orchestra and deciding how many people are going to be in the show and who the cast will be.
“The show’s huge, there’s 19 locations that they go through,” Strawn said. “Just the sheer size of the piece and figuring out how to manage that in an affordable way and also in a way that is effective for the audience has been a little challenging.”
Despite numerous locations and inevitable set changes Strawn’s goal is to create as smooth of a show as possible.
“I’m the kind of director that’s very concerned with flow and I want the show to feel liquid,” Strawn said. “I don’t want the audience to wait while we change scenes.”