Corbett troupe to stage musical this week
by: Jim Clark Corbett Children's Theater is presenting "Thoroughly Modern Millie” Thursday through Sunday.

Jett Knight, 13, a seventh-grader at Corbett Middle School, is pretending to do the dishes.

No, he's not at home hoping no one catches him goofing off in the kitchen. He's rehearsing to play a dishwasher in 'Thoroughly Modern Millie,' the latest offering from Corbett Children's Theater, directed by Dr. Katherine Zieman.

Knight says he's excited for 'Millie' because he gets a line in the musical, which runs from Thursday, March 22, through Sunday, March 25.

'Missed a spot,' his character says.

Now if that doesn't win him a Tony, playing Ira Gershwin might - that's another role he takes on in 'Millie.' He says this musical is a lot of work, but the children's theater veteran adds it's worth it, especially after he hears the applause on opening night.

'Usually, at the end, I say I've learned from my experience.'

Stars in her eyes

Sierra Rickard, 17, a senior at Sandy High School, plays Millie, a 1920s jazz-age 'flapper' who comes to New York City in hopes of meeting a man through her job as a stenographer.

'It's one of my favorite musicals, and I'm really happy I was able to do it,' Rickard says.

She adds that the original Broadway cast of 'Millie' starred her favorite actress, Sutton Foster, who won a Tony for her performance.

'I've pretty much loved everything she's done for Broadway.'

Rickard is putting herself through some Broadway-style paces in terms of vocal practice.

'There are a lot of (vocal) jumps in her material that are difficult to get,' Rickard says. 'I am an alto, and it's more of a mezzo soprano part. I definitely warm up a lot.'

However, it's clear from her demeanor she's excited by the challenge of playing such a role, one of the reasons she went into theater.

'I get to be different people, and I get to expand my personality more in who I am.'

Working girl

Claire Hocking, 13, an eighth-grader at Corbett Middle School, plays Rita, a secretary who 'kind of looks up to all of the other girls and tries really hard to be like them.'

Hocking says the role stretches her talents a bit, since she's not as insecure about her personality as her stage character seems to be.

'I'm not used to trying to be other people a lot,' she says. 'I kind of like being my own person rather than be other people.'

Meanwhile, Stacey Pulliam, 16, a sophomore at Corbett High, plays Miss Flannery, the head secretary.

'She's very behind the times,' Pulliam says. 'She seems almost like she came from the military, but later in the show you see different sides of her, so that's cool.'

She's also a contrast to the 'ditzy, sassy' roles Pulliam has played before.

'It's kind of cool to learn all the different sides of theater,' she says.

Man in the mirror

Taylor Fahlman, 17, a Corbett High senior, plays the goal of Millie's marriage quest, the narcissistic but lovable Trevor Graydon.

'He's like a Ken doll,' Fahlman says. 'He's a big personality who has like a cheesy smile. I can act him a lot better than some of the other roles I've played. I have more of the voice and movements.'

Fahlman is a latecomer to the Corbett troupe, having started acting only last year.

'It's worth all the hard times because at the end I'm done and I've learned a lot.'

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