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Enjoy musical theater — al fresco style

Loomis theatrical group puts on outdoor presentation of 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Live, al fresco theater – complete with music, dancing and singing – is coming to the Loomis Depot. “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a Tony award-winning musical about a flapper-era girl with modern ideas on love and marriage, will be performed outdoors by the McLaughlin Theater Company at 8 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, July 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 and 31. Twenty-one local youth, ranging in age from 9 to 19 years old, will dance, act and sing. The talented troupe is made up of veteran performers who have multiple production credits under their belts. Abrianna Keller, 14, of Loomis, said she’s been acting since age 5 and plays one of the Hotel Priscilla girls. She said she’s having lots of fun with the production. “It’s a great story – really funny. It has a surprise ending,” Abrianna said. The musical is being produced at McLaughlin Studios in Loomis. Fellow actor Laura Gentes, 12, of Loomis takes voice lessons at McLaughlin. Along with the songs she’s learned for the play, Laura said she was excited to have picked up some tap dancing skills while working on “Millie.” Laura said her summer would have been boring without the play. Ashlee Petretti, 15, a Del Oro High School sophomore, plays Muzzy in “Millie.” She said her character is “a rich, glamorous singer who is the voice of reason.” Ashlee also had a role in the same play when she was a student at Franklin Elementary School. “We did the junior version at Franklin, but this one is much more professional,” Ashlee said. Meghan Trask, 16, of Loomis, is a Del Oro High School junior, and was recently in the school’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” She said participating in the “Millie” has been less stressful and more fun. “At Del Oro, we build the sets and do everything. It can be pretty hectic,” Meghan said. Emily Knisley, 13, of Loomis, has been in two other McLaughlin productions this year. Emily said she especially likes the 1920s-era costumes the cast will be wearing in “Millie.” Joe Lopez, 19, of Granite Bay, is majoring in music at California State University, Fullerton, and while home for the summer has a starring role in “Millie.” Joe is a veteran performer and was recently in a college play, but still likes homegrown productions. “I’m a big fan of community theater,” Joe said. Other local cast members are Rachel Jackson, 9, of Loomis; Maddison Soth, 10, of Granite Bay; Zoey Grossman, 10, of Granite Bay; and Makenzie Kirkwood, 16, of Newcastle. Greg McLaughlin, professional musician and studio co-owner, will direct the musicians performing live during the play. Crewmembers are Gemma McKenney, director and vocal director; Kenny Gagni, assistant director; Julia Rath, choreographer; Nancie McLaughlin, producer; and Ryan McKenney, sets. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, call 652-6377. ------------------------- THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE What: Musical production When: 8 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, July 22-24 and 29- 31 Where: Outdoors at the Loomis Depot Who: McLaughlin Theater Company Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at door Information: 652-6377