Show History



Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 film of the same name, with a screenplay by Richard Morris and starring Julie Andrews in the title role alongside Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing. The film was both a critical and box office hit, going on to become one of the highest grossing films of that year and garnering seven Academy Award nominations. The idea of an adaptation was originally conceived by Dick Scalin who worked tirelessly to convince original author Richard Morris of its potential.


Thoroughly Modern Millie was first presented as a musical in the 1996 Festival of New Musicals, sponsored by the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). At that point, the score was by Dick Scanlan and the late Richard Morris and used none of the music from the 1967 Julie Andrews / Carol Channing film.

In early 1999 composer Jeanine Tesori then came on board to compose additional music for the show, which would now incorporate some of the most popular songs from the film. Later that year Kristin Chenoweth became attached at the titular character, but eventually backed out of the project. 

On October 22, 2000, the show was scheduled to open its out-of-town tryout at the La Jolla Playhouse with Erin Dilly as Millie. Days before the first preview, however, Dilly was replaced by a then unknown Sutton Foster. Despite the last minute change, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, and the show extended its run several times due to popular demand.
The remaining cast included such notables as Tonya Pinkins, Pat Carroll, and Marc Kudisch.

Finally, on April 18, 2002, after a substantial wait for an available theatre, Thoroughly Modern Millie officially opened on Broadway at the Marquis Theater. Foster and Kudisch remained in their original roles and were joined by Gavin Creel, Harriet Harris, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. The show went on to be the most honored show of the season and ran for more than two years and 900 performances, closing on June 20th, 2004.

In July 2003, a national tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie began in Kansas City, and later that year "crossed the pond" and opened at London's Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End. There have also been productions in Canada, Hong Kong, countless regional theaters around the US, as well as a School Edition that was introduced at the 2007 International Thespian Convention.

Cultural Influence

  • Thoroughly Modern Millie, launched previously unknown Sutton Foster from the chorus into Broadway stardom. Since her debut as Millie she has gone on be nominated for five Tony Awards, two of which she has won for Best Leading Actress in a Musical .
  • Gavin Creel was also rocketed into the limelight, going on to headline Broadway s Hair and the national tour of The Book of Mormon .
  • The success of the Broadway production led to an original Broadway cast recording released by RCA Victor in 2002.


  • Thoroughly Modern Millie received a nomination for Best New Musical at the Olivier Awards in 2004.
  • Add Sutton Foster to the list of famous former orphans! The Tony Award-winning actress made her stage debut at the age of 10 as the endearing and enduring ragamuffin in Augusta, GA.