Wednesday Wordplay: “Crow in the company of cocks” – Malayan Proverb

Inspirational Quotes

 

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.
            — Daniel H. Burnham

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
            — Steve Jobs

What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.
            — Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation, 1966

The most powerful factors in the world are clear ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will.
            — J. Arthur Thomson

Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort.
            — Charles Dickens

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
            — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner’s manual your creator gave you and destroying your design.
            — Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine, February 2003

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.
            — Arthur Schopenhauer

Trumpet in a herd of elephants; crow in the company of cocks; bleat in a flock of goats.
            — Malayan Proverb

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.
            — Arthur Ashe

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again.
            — Og Mandino, The Greatest Miracle in the World


Hoi Polloi

(noun)
[hoi’ pah-LOI]

1. the common people; the masses: "We may have less down time, but today, the hoi polloi have access to services and technology that kings of the past did not even dream of."


Origin:
Approximately 1837; from Greek, ‘hoi’: from the + ‘polloi’: the people, literally, the many, from ‘polys.’

In action:
"Well, call me over-excited. Call me sentimental too. Call me worse if you want: I’ll only keep lobbing it back till I get bored. But with all of this in mind I’m going to embrace Saturday’s amazing match as a reason to be cheerful about my homeland. As a game of football it reaffirmed everything the FA Cup is meant to be about, all the adventure, drama and unpredictability inherent in a sudden death competition that, in its early stages at least, gives the hoi polloi a chance to tumble the aristocracy. For all the erosion of its status in recent years, no other nation embraces its knock-out competition and those fantastic qualities the way we do."

Review: Drury Lane’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

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Drury Lane Oakbrook presents:

Thoroughly Modern Millie

by Richard Morris, Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan
directed by William Osetek
thru December 20th (ticket info)

Reviewed by Timothy McGuire

The traditional Thoroughly Modern Millie is given a new breath of life in Drury Lane’s high quality, highly energetic and enjoyable new musical, directed by William Osetek. From top to bottom, set to song, this is a near flawless performance of traditional musical theatre produced with Broadway-like standards – just  on a smaller scale.

thoroughly-modern-millie-3 Thoroughly Modern Millie is the story of a young woman who has moved to the big city in search of becoming a “modern woman,” one in search of wealth not love. Set in the early 1920’s, when the social and economic climate is changing, especially for women who have recently joined the work place and have a new independence when seeking happiness. With nowhere to go she takes refuge in a hotel that houses other single women, most of whom are out-of-work actresses, but unknown to Millie and the other girls the hotel is also a front for Mrs. Meers “white-slave” trafficking business. Unaware of the dangers around her, Millie is stubbornly set on marrying her rich boss and decides that there is no room for love in a modern woman as she flirts to get his attention.

Millie is magnificent. Holly Ann Butler makes her Drury Lane debut as Millie, and her tremendous talents stand out in every aspect of her performance. She can sing (whoa can she sing) dance, act and is innocently beautiful on stage as she takes the audience through the streets of New York as designed by Kevin Depinet.

Kevin Depinet has designed an open stage with a towering 3-dimensional backdrop of Manhattan creating depth and distance on stage. The huge buildings have a romantic feeling intensified by the changing colors and brightness that shines through the windows of each building depending on the time of day. The set hovers over the cast creating a visual sense of the magic that exist downtown.

The choreography is exceptional, and gives one an example of the meaningful influence that top-notch choreography can have with the plot and overall enjoyment of a production. Tammy Mader’s choreography brings the book and songs together, fluidly portraying individual emotions; creating entertaining numbers that enhance the feelings surrounding the stage.

The production really picks up in the second act where the choreography gets even more complicated, with surprise quirky moves, and the plot thickens with a merry-go-round of love interests to go along with Mrs. Meers increasingly deviant plan of kidnapping white-slaves. Millie’s journey to discover the value of true love rather than the materialistic measures of success is guided by the wealthy Muzzy (Melody Betts), and everyone finds their way to true love and happiness – well almost everyone.

thoroughly-modern-millie-2The energetic musical numbers throughout the production are led by truly gifted voices and enhanced by the full production of each song. Actresses and actors like Holly Ann Butler, Randall Dodge and Melody Betts are performances in themselves, and it is a special experience to hear a group of talented vocalists sing together at such a high caliber. My personal favorite is the deep baritone voice of Randall Dodge as Millie’s boss.

Along with the spectacular songs, a ton of comedy is slipped into the plot and brought out especially well by gifted and seasoned actresses like Paula Scrofano (Mrs. Meers,) and Sharon Sachs (Mrs. Flannery), who connect well to the audience with their well-timed antics displaying the off-beat personalities of their characters. Richard Manera and Paul Marinez (Ching Ho and Bun Foo) also bring continuous laughter into the musical with their expressive remarks and interactions with Mrs. Meers.

Drury Lane’s Thoroughly Modern Millie is a top notch professional production that is as good as any musical you will see of this size. The cast is filled with talented stars, the creative team is at its best, and the stage is strikingly magical. For musical theater lovers, this is the show you want to see.  And for those new to the theater, this might be the musical that sucks you in to Chicago’s musical theatre scene.

Rating: ★★★

 

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