The M.G.M. classic comes to life on the Kavli stage in the Civic Arts Plaza premiere of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, the heartwarming finale to Cabrillo Music Theatre's 2011-2012 Season. The show makes its Kavli Theatre premiere on Friday, July 20th, 2012, and plays until Sunday, July 29th, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.
Based on the classic M.G.M. Judy Garland musical, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS captures a year in the life of a typical American family, and, in so doing, captures the uniquely American spirit to be found in every household everywhere. Children build snowmen; couples fall in love, fight, and fall in love all over again; a new job in a new town threatens to tear apart the family, and dinner is served precisely on time. Who escorts whom to the big dance is as important as life itself. And a trip to the World's Fair in 1904 St. Louis is the most momentous event imaginable. Meanwhile, a passionate young woman quietly pines for "the boy next door." Capturing the small nuances in family life that become enormous challenges is at the heart of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, and is at the root of its enduring popularity.
And the music! With songs written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine, complementing the script by Hugh Wheeler (based on Sally Benson's stories), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS features the film's classic songs, such as "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," "Skip to My Lou," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Under the Bamboo Tree," and the title tune. The stage show also features songs not included in the movie as well.
"Cabrillo's MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is the perfect way to end our 2011-2012 season," says Lewis Wilkenfeld, Cabrillo Music Theatre's Artistic Director. "The songs are classics, which immediately make everyone feel at home. And the story is really everyone's story; to be invited into this family's home for a year in their lives – you really see yourself when you see MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS." Adds Wilkenfeld, "My favorite moments in the show are the small ones; they really make this show unique. And when you think about a time before television, radio, video games, the internet, even air travel – most Americans would live their entire lives in the town of their birth. So going to the World's Fair, and having the World's Fair in your home town – this would be the high point of their lives!"
Directing MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is Linda Kerns, a Southern California favorite who performed onstage in WICKED and on screen in "Titanic." Heather Castillo, who choreographed Cabrillo's THE SOUND OF MUSIC and CINDERELLA, returns, as does Musical Director Lloyd Cooper, nominated for an Ovation Award for his work on Cabrillo's THE ANDREWS BROTHERS. Heading up the cast are Tom Schmid, star of last season's THE SOUND OF MUSIC (as the Captain), and Christina Saffran Ashford, the Queen in 2010's CINDERELLA. Making her Cabrillo debut as Esther is Alyssa M. Simmons. The show also features Kyle Lowder, of television's "The Bold and the Beautiful," as John Truitt, the Boy Next Door.
In the show's spirit of "friends and neighbors," Cabrillo Music Theatre goes "Beyond the Footlights" and will launch a food-drive for the hungry during MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. The public is encouraged to bring non-perishable and canned food items to the theatre at all performances. Cabrillo, in conjunction with FOOD SHARE, will collect all the goods and deliver to those in the community who need help the most. In addition, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS will feature a signed performance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on Friday, July 27th.
And, to accommodate audience demand and requests from Cabrillo's seniors, a mid-week matinee performance has been added on Wednesday, July 25th, at 11:00AM, featuring lower prices for seniors and free parking.