2018-08-08 / Front Page

Milligan Makes Broadway Debut

Bonnie Milligan, AHS ‘02, center, is on a Broadway stage as “Pamela” in “Head Over Heels.” The musical, which opened in July, is Bonnie’s debut performance on Broadway. She has other theater and television credits.– courtesy photo Bonnie Milligan, AHS ‘02, center, is on a Broadway stage as “Pamela” in “Head Over Heels.” The musical, which opened in July, is Bonnie’s debut performance on Broadway. She has other theater and television credits.– courtesy photo People with a connection to Archbold can be found almost everywhere, including on Broadway, in New York City.

Bonnie Milligan, AHS ‘02, made her Broadway debut in late July in the musical “Head Over Heels.”

On Broadway, a street in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan, there are more than 40 theatres, each seating a minimum of 500 people, in the area known as the theatre district.

Beyond that, a “Broadway theatre production,” along with London’s West End theatre district, are considered to be the highest level of commercial theatre, according to Internet research.

For most actors, an appearance on Broadway means they have made it.

Bonnie Milligan Bonnie Milligan “Head Over Heels” is an adaptation of 16th century prose and the music of the 1980s all-girl band, The Go Go’s.

It’s described as “an Elizabethan love story turned on its head.”

A “Variety” review called the show “an over-written, over-designed, and generally overdone production...

“From the sets and costumes to the performance style, the basic principle seems to be: Less is boring and more is never enough.”

Broadway.com said Milligan is the only member of the original company to start with the show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in San Francisco before arriving on Broadway.

She plays the character of Pamela, one of the leading roles.

The Woman

Originally hailing from Decatur, Ill., Milligan graduated from AHS with plans to major in theatre at The Ohio State University.

In this newspaper’s annual graduation souvenir section, she said her favorite class was choir.

In a Broadway.com interview, she said as a child, “I was always singing and dancing and moving around.

“My grandma told me a story once of where I watched the movie ‘Annie’ five times in a row…

“I love musical theatre with all my heart.”

On having been involved with “Head Over Heels” since 2014, she told Broadway.com, “It’s been unbelievable, but I’m grateful for every leg of the journey I get to keep being a part of.”

“As a plus-size actress getting to play the beautiful character where there’s nothing in the script about my size, the amount of young girls that have approached me (saying) that it means the world to them has been wonderful.

“I feel the importance of it, and I’m glad to be part of it.”

But there is much more to Milligan than “Head Over Heels.”

Internet research shows she made her Off-Broadway debut in “Cuff Me! The Unauthorized 50 Shades of Grey Parody” in 2013.

She was part of the first national tour of “Kinky Boots” in 2014, along with other theatre credits.

She also has television credits, including “Search Party” in 2016-17, “Happy!” in 2017, and “Escape at Dannemora” this year.

On top of that, she has been a performer on the New York concert scene. She performed her debut solo cabaret show in 2014.

Her Reviews

The “Variety” review said Milligan “bubbles over with merriment (and manages to sustain it) as the generously endowed elder daughter, Princess Pamela.

“Convinced of her own ravishing beauty… the dear girl rejects all her suitors, which gives her parents grief but delivers a lot of laughs.”

Entertainment Weekly said Milligan “quite literally chews scenery as Pamela, the king’s vain eldest daughter. (‘Chewing scenery’ means to act with emphasis, taking a role to an extreme.)

“Pamela also happens to be the bigger of the two siblings, and early dialogue veers too close to making a joke out of her self-esteem as she labels her sweet, delicate sister … the ‘plain’ one.

“But as the script settles into a groove and Pamela discovers herself, her beauty becomes a fact universally accepted.”

First Time

In the Broadway.com interview, Milligan said her first night on a Broadway stage last month “was so emotional. It was one of those (moments) where everybody told me to just be present, because you only have your first night on Broadway once.

“I’m an emotional person, so every time I would be super present. I would be tearing up because it’s all I ever wanted.

“The most overwhelming feeling of support struck me. When the curtain rose for the first time, my heart was pounding. I remember thinking, ‘I gotta breathe!’ because I was so excited.

“Throughout the whole show, I would tear up, it was magical.

“There’s no other feeling I’ve ever had like that in the world.”

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