Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS at The Muny
Meet Me In St. Louis began performances at the Muny August 4 and will run until August 12.
This production, the 8th in Muny history, will include several songs new to the stage adaptation of Meet Me In St. Louis, including "Boys and Girls Like You and Me," a song written by Rodgers & Hammerstein for Oklahoma! and then recorded for, but ultimately cut, from the film of Meet Me In St. Louis. This production will also include the first stage use of "You and I," a song in the film by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.
Meet Me In St. Louis paints a wholesome portrait of a turn of the century American family. Set in the summer of 1903, the Smiths eagerly await the grand opening of the 1904 World's Fair. With hits such as "The Trolley Song," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door" and the title number, this is the perfect finale to The Muny's 100th season, and will evoke nothing but love and pride...right here in St. Louis.
The magnificently-talented cast features Erin Dilly (Mrs. Anna Smith), Stephen R. Buntrock (Mr. Alonzo Smith), Ken Page (Grandpa Prophater), Kathy Fitzgerald (Katie), Emily Walton (Esther Smith), Liana Hunt (Rose Smith), Dan DeLuca (John Truitt), Jonathan Burke (Lon Smith), Elena Adams (Tootie Smith) and Elle Wesley (Agnes Smith). An exceptional ensemble completes this cast, including Akilah Ayanna, Michael Baxter, Leah Berry, Shawn Bowers, Michael Burrell, Emma Gassett, Berklea Going, Madison Johnson, Jeff Jordan, Halle Morse, Ben Nordstrom, Commodore C. Primous III, Payton Pritchett, Cooper Stanton, Julia Paige Thorn and Nathaniel J. Washington. The company is also joined by the Muny Kid and Teen youth ensembles.
A show-stopping creative team leads this production with direction by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, choreography by Josh Walden, music direction by Charlie Alterman, scenic design by Michael Schweikardt, costume design by Tristan Raines, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, video design by Matthew Young, wig design by Leah J. Loukas, and production stage management by J. Jason Daunter.
The seven shows in the 2018 Muny season are: Jerome Robbins' Broadway (June 11-17), The Wiz (June 19-25), Singin' in the Rain (June 27-July 3), Jersey Boys (July 9-16), Annie (July 18-25), Gypsy (July 27-August 2) and Meet Me In St. Louis (August 4-12). For more information, visit muny.org.
Tickets are currently on sale for this historic season. In addition, Muny gift cards for the 100th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Kevin Brackett, Reviews St. Louis: Although I know it may be sacrilege to admit, I've never been a huge fan of the film from which this musical is based. However, I have no doubt that this is the greatest production of Meet Me in St. Louis to have graced the stage. It is a show that never hides how proud it is of our city, and what we have accomplished here. And no exception to that sentiment is The Muny - celebrating 100 years of magic in St. Louis. What a love letter to not only the city, but to everyone in the community.
Tanya Seale, BroadwayWorld: There are so many standout performers in this production - Emily Walton, a Broadway and Off-Broadway veteran who makes her Muny debut as Esther Smith, has a remarkably melodious voice, and knocks it out of the park with every single musical number. Liana Hunt, also making her Muny debut as Rose Smith after performing on Broadway and in several national tours, is an impeccable counterpart to Walton, the two playing energetically off of one another. Kathy Fitzgerald as Katie, the Smiths' housekeeper and cook, who playfully claims she has a toothache from keeping her mouth so tight about a family secret, is funny in both dialogue and action, and "A Touch of the Irish," which features Katie advising the sisters in the matters of men, is entertaining and supremely endearing. The magnificent Erin Dilly (as Mrs. Anna Smith) and Stephen R. Buntrock (as Mr. Alonzo Smith) are wonderful in their roles as well, running this large and busy family with classy, polished measure.
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post Dispatch: Directed with style and precision by Muny regular Marcia Milgrom Dodge, this is a snow globe of a show, with sparkling choreography by Josh Walden and such musical highlights as the title tune, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song." And yes, you can expect to see a trolley onstage. [...] "Meet Me in St. Louis" doesn't quite deliver the visceral showbiz thrills of the Muny's previous offering, "Gypsy." But what the show lacks in razzmatazz, it more than makes up for in charm.