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Paper Mill Playhouse Announces Casting for 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'

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MILLBURN, NJ - Paper Mill Playhouse has announced the cast for Thoroughly Modern Millie, winner of the 2002 Drama Desk and Tony Award for Best Musical. This effervescent musical romp will feature Ashley Kate Adams (Miss Dorothy Brown), Brenda Braxton (Muzzy Van Hossmere), Billy Bustamante (Bun Foo), Jeff Kready (Jimmy Smith), Burke Moses (Mr. Trevor Graydon), Lenora Nemetz (Mrs. Meers), James Seol (Ching Ho), Jessica Sheridan (Miss Flannery) and Laurie Veldheer (Millie Dillmount).

Thoroughly Modern Millie will be directed by Paper Mill Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee with choreography by Denis Jones. Thoroughly Modern Millie will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from April 10 through May 5, 2013. Thoroughly Modern Millie is generously supported by a gift from Allen and Joan Bildner. 

Thoroughly Modern Millie is an effervescent musical romp that will have you dancing the Charleston. It's the Roaring Twenties, and young Millie Dillmount has just arrived in New York City, a place filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men, and a dragon lady of a villainess. Based on the 1967 film of the same name, Thoroughly Modern Millie opened on Broadway in April 2002. Featuring hit songs such as “Gimme Gimme” and “Not for the Life of Me,” the production subsequently won six Tony Awards® and five Drama Desk Awards, including the win for Best Musical at both award ceremonies.

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Thoroughly Modern Millie will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday.  Performance Schedule: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Single tickets are on sale now and range from $26 to $97. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.papermill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680

The production will star Laurie Veldheer as Millie Dillmount, seen recently in Disney’s Newsies on Broadway reprising the role she created at Paper Mill Playhouse. The role of Jimmy Smith will be played by Jeff Kready, seen on Broadway, in Billy Elliot and the revivals of Sunday in the Park with George and Les Misérables. The role of Muzzy van Hossmere will be played by Tony-nominated actress Brenda Braxton – recently seen in the second season premiere episode of NBC’s musical drama “Smash” – and seen on Broadway in Chicago, Smokey Joe’s Café, Jelly’s Last Jam, Dreamgirls, Cats and more. Mrs. Meers will be portrayed by prominent actress Lenora Nemetz, well-known for her roles on Broadway in Cabaret, Chicago and Working, who last appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in Show Boat (taped for PBS) and as Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Trevor Graydon will be played by veteran actor Burke Moses, whose Broadway credits include Guys and Dolls, Disney's Beauty and the Beast and the revival of Kiss Me, Kate, among others.

Miss Dorothy Brown will be portrayed by Ashley Kate Adams.  Adams returns to Paper Mill following a successful run in The Sound of Music earlier this season. Providing comic relief are Mrs. Meers’ henchmen Billy Bustamante (Bun Foo) and James Seol (Ching Ho).  Bustamante has performed at theaters throughout the country including The Public and The Kennedy Center. Seol appeared on Broadway in A Naked Girl on the Appian Way. Jessica Sheridan will play Miss Flannery. Sheridan appeared on Broadway in Sister Act, Follies, Mary Poppins and Les Misérables.

Rounding out the cast are:  Carleigh Bettiol, Craig Blake, Barry Busby, Darien Crago, Patch David, Ian DeVine, Charlie Johnson, Ian Liberto, Sarah Meahl, Lizzy Palmer, Kristyn Pope, Kelly Skidmore, Amy Van Norstrand and John T. Wolfe.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie is the perfect musical for the entire family,” remarked Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for Paper Mill Playhouse and Director of Thoroughly Modern Mille.  “Audiences will relive the roaring 1920s in this Tony Award®-winning musical featuring jazz, thunderous tap dancing, frisky flappers and dashing leading men.”

Hoebee joined the artistic team at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2000. Under his artistic leadership, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh, Paper Mill launched the American premiere of the 25th Anniversary production of Les Misérables in 2010 and, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, was home to the world premiere of Newsies in 2011. On Broadway, Hoebee directed the Actors’ Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. He directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Grammy winner Toni Tennille; Dreamgirls; Company; and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. Directing credits at Paper Mill include Dreamgirls; Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh; Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons; The King and I; Miss Saigon; Disney’s High School Musical; Peter Pan; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Damn Yankees; Curtains; and The Full Monty starring Broadway legend Elaine Stritch.

Thoroughly Modern Millie is choreographed by Denis Jones. At Paper Mill Playhouse, Jones choreographed Damn Yankees, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Full Monty, High School Musical, and Meet Me in St. Louis. Recent credits: Nerds (NCT), Elf (5th Avenue), Chicago (Muny), Disaster! (Triad), Some Lovers (Old Globe), Forum (Williamstown), Pirates! (Huntington), She Loves Me (Huntington, Williamstown), Coraline (MCC), Pop! (Yale Rep), Post Office (Center Theatre Group), and Liberty Smith (Ford’s Theatre). Upcoming projects include Spamalot (Muny), Piece of My Heart, and Honeymoon in Vegas. Helen Gregory will serve as Music Director. Ms. Gregory’s credits include: Off Broadway: NY Theatre Workshop, Vineyard, Public, and LaMaMa E.T.C. Regional: Maltz Jupiter Theatre (seven Carbonell nominations; winner, best musical direction, 2011), Asolo Rep (Sarasota Magazine Theatre Award for best musical direction, 2009), Alliance, Goodman and many more.  Andrea Cibelli will serve as Production Stage Manager.

The Thoroughly Modern Millie design team includes:

Scenic design by Michael Schweikardt. Schweikardt designed Things to Ruin (The Zipper Factory), Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); world premieres of Duncan Sheik’s Whisper House and Nobody Loves You; Ella; critically acclaimed productions of Carousel, Show Boat, 1776, Annie Get Your Gun, and Camelot for Goodspeed Musicals; national and international tours of James Taylor’s One Man Band. 

Costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, who won the 2002 Tony Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Pakledinaz designed the Broadway costumes for Two Gentlemen of Verona; Wonderful Town; Kiss Me, Kate; A Year with Frog and Toad; The Look of Love; Kimberly Akimbo; The Life; Diary of Anne Frank; Golden Child; A Thousand Clowns; Anna Christie; and more.  Costume coordination and additional costume design by Emmy Award nominee Gail Baldoni.  Baldoni’s credits include Paper Mill Playhouse: Will Rogers Follies; King and I; Miss Saigon; Sound of Music; A Chorus Line. NY Philharmonic’s My Fair Lady; Wonderful Town at NYC Opera. Film: Mermaids starring Cher, Boy in a Bathtub.

Lighting design by Kirk Bookman. Bookman’s credits include:  The Gin Game, The Sunshine Boys and

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Broadway.  Closer Than Ever (York), NY Philharmonic’s Company (also broadcast in movie theaters nationwide) and at regional theaters and ballets throughout the United States.

Sound design by Paper Mill Playhouse Resident Sound Designer Randy Hansen. Over the past twenty-five years, Hansen has designed hundreds of musicals, plays, and live events all over the country.

Hair and wig design by Rob Greene and J. Jared Janas. Recent Broadway designs and consultations include The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Peter and the Starcatcher, All About Me, and Next to Normal. Paper Mill Playhouse productions include Curtains and Peter Pan.

Thoroughly Modern Millie— book by Richard Morris & Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan. Original story and screenplay by Richard Morris for the Universal Pictures Film. Thoroughly Modern Millie is a co-production with Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.

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