‘Nelly Don, The Musical Movie’ Continues to Captivate

Julie Pope plays Nell Donnelly Reed in Nelly Don: the Musical. Photo courtesy of Nelly Don Theatrical

It’s an occasion that few films can celebrate. Since its premiere, Nelly Don, The Musical Movie has enthralled audiences with half a year of uninterrupted screenings to tell the tale of the extraordinary life of Nelly Donnelly Reed, a pioneer in Kansas City’s fashion industry.

“Most movies have a theatrical run for a few weeks, but this simple movie has something charming about this extraordinary Kansas City female protagonist,” said Brian Mossman, owner of the Glenwood Arts Theatre.

The film doesn’t only focus on Reed’s extraordinary success and business dealings, as her life was also marked by tumult and scandal. In 1931, Reed was kidnapped and held for ransom along with her driver George Blair. The ensuing drama and trial unfold on screen, along with her affair and subsequent marriage to U.S. Senator James Reed, whose former home is featured in the production along with several other prominent Kansas City historic sites.

Over 100 local creative professionals lent their expertise to Nelly Don the Musical Movie. Directed by Terence O’Malley and featuring more than 20 songs by composer Daniel Doss, the film pays tribute to the legacy of Nelly Don and features the explosive successes and personal turmoil of this local icon’s life. 

Mossman will mark the culmination of honors O’Malley has received for preserving history at a special presentation before the April 10 movie. Due to the film’s popularity, the movie has become a mainstay in the Glenwood Arts Theatre in Overland Park, where the film continues to play every Wednesday at 5:15 pm with no signs of it ending.

Tickets are $10 for the movie and audience Q&A and often include a live singing performance from a cast member. At its core, Nelly Don the Musical Movie is a testament to resilience and ambition, showcasing the indomitable spirit of a woman who defied expectations to become a true fashion icon.

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