The first time I did Thoroughly Modern Millie, it was at one of those wonderful “coming of age” theatres. Not that the theatre was coming of age, but rather the artists. They did great shows that consisted mostly of college students or recent graduates who were testing their wings for the first time without having to worry about a grade. I mean, sure, you could get fired, but somehow that felt less frightening than failing a test. On the whole it was great, but there were a few problems with the costumes.
Millie is set in the 1920’s, so we were all supposed to look like flappers. Great! I love a good 20’s dress. They made sheet dresses, which were basically tubes. Which is fine. But they didn’t make them big enough to fit over the largest part of our torsos, which for me is my boobs. It took three people to get each of the girls into their dresses. Three people ripping a costume down over your boobs. There weren’t enough people backstage to do this during the quick change in the opening number, so they had to re-choreograph to get more people off stage so they could be backstage to help rip my tits off every night. And getting the dress off was worse than putting it on. On felt like someone was trying to age your boobs thirty years in three seconds. Off felt like a new circus act in which you hung suspended in the air by your tatas.
And aside from trying to alter my anatomy, they also gave all the girls flesh colored spanks (bloomers) to wear. Now, looking like you’re not wearing anything under your dress is great for a certain time and place, but not a family theatre in a show that has an added can-can section. When we were all showing off our costumes for the director, I told him about the naked panty look.
“I don’t mind if you don’t mind, but it looks like you’re seeing my lady bits when I kick.” (Please note that statement was edited for content and explanations of female genitalia.) “And I don’t want the audience members to be distracted or offended.)
The director said, “Let me see you kick.”
I did. He made a face that looked like Grumpy Cat trying to smile. “We’ll do something about that.” The costumers tried to dye all the spanks black, but they turned out a horrible deathly blue that dubbed that show “the show of Smurf butt” forever in my mind.