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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

Back to the carefree Roaring Twenties

STONEHAM — At a moment when we’ve been all too focused on events unfolding in the real world, the Stoneham Theatre’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” is a wonderfully entertaining immersion into escapism. Based on the 1967 movie starring Julie Andrews, the 2002 musical is loaded with theater clichés — which didn’t stop it from being a Tony Award-winning Broadway hit. This production, likewise, quickly wins the audience over, thanks to performances that are both sincere and superb.

Director and choreographer Ilyse Robbins knows the focus needs to be on the singing and dancing, and, wow, does her company deliver. From the opening number to the rousing finale, this cast of 20 performs as a unit, with crisp precision and seemingly heartfelt enthusiasm. Robbins’s choreography builds on variations on the Charleston, suggesting the carefree optimism of the Roaring Twenties, when the action is set.

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