“Gimme, Gimme”

Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan, Thoroughly Modern Millie, “Gimme, Gimme”

Jenn Gambatese

Following up on her triumphs in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews portrayed the heroine of a third successful movie musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). One of the movie’s distinctions was the ease with which it integrated new songs with others from the period of the story, the 1920s. When the movie was adapted for Broadway, composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Dick Scanlan added their own songs while retaining many from the original film. Also included was material adapted from works of Tchaikovsky, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Victor Herbert. The result totally charmed Broadway audiences at its 2002 premiere.

The show’s heroine is an exceptionally demanding role, requiring a performer who must sing, dance, and act with equal brilliance, while communicating with effervescent personality from start to finish. A wide-eyed and eager girl from Kansas, Millie arrives in New York intent on finding a rich husband. Late in the show, she realizes that she loves Jimmy, despite his apparent lack of funds (she eventually learns that he’s actually quite a wealthy young man). Longing for perfect love in a storybook happy ending, she sings the last of her several showstopping solo numbers, “Gimme, Gimme.”

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Photos: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kyle Flubacker