Cambrian: Arts & Events

Coast Union’s take on “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is timeless

The cast of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" rehearses Monday in the Coast Union High School gym.
The cast of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" rehearses Monday in the Coast Union High School gym.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” isn’t really modern: It’s based on a 1967 film that is, in turn, based on a 1956 musical and is set in 1922. But whether you’re into contemporary stories or nostalgia, you’re in for a treat at this year’s Coast Union High School spring musical, the timeless yarn of a small-town girl out to make it big in the city.

Octavia Dolan plays the title character, Millie Dillmount, who has her eye on businessman Trevor Graydon, played by Dolan's brother Zach. Tori Ehlers plays Dorothy Brown, a California girl who rooms with Millie at a hotel owned by the “dangerous” Mrs. Meers (Fiona Cloward). How dangerous? In one scene, she attempts to foist a dubious apple off on Dorothy, a la the evil queen from "Snow White."

Millie wins a job working for Trevor as a stenographer, but also wins the heart of a much-less-well-to-do salesman named Jimmy Smith (Leo Martinez). Against the backdrop of the “flapper” era of the roaring twenties, the characters become ensnared in the sinister machinations of a Chinese slavery ring operating out of the hotel.

The production features more than 20 songs, including “The Speed Test,” a fun, upbeat number that Millie and Trevor sing when she’s trying out for a job at his company.

Other students in the main cast are Hayley Zinn as Muzzy van Hossemere, Olivia Hargear as Miss Flannery, Jonathan Jewel as Ching Ho and Darien Jewel as Bun Foo and Kenneth.

In supporting roles are Julie Garcia, Crystal Martinez, Elizabeth Kennedy, Marissa Martinez, Hayley Zinn, Alondra Mercado, Jacqueline Happel, Isabella Edwards, Ethan Walters, Ricky Ayala and Winston Hayward. Several students play multiple roles.

Students in the band are Taylor Dewey and Gio Espinoza. Students in the production and tech crew are Meg Stern, Tyler Seng, Zachary Taylor, Dillyn Barbosa, Julian Mercado, Paul Butterfield and Camden Steeb.

Performances and tickets

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” runs for six performances over two weekends, March 16-18 and March 23-25. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m., with Sunday performances set for 3 p.m. in the Coast Union gym, 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Road.

Tickets are $20 for reserved seats, $10 for general admission and $5 for students. They’re available at Among Friends, 2254 Main St. in Cambria’s East Village, and at the door 30 minutes before showtime.

Details and tickets: 805-927-7156.