Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Theater-goers who enjoy a good-hearted musical with plenty of smiles, toe-tapping music, and a trip back to a bygone era will enjoy this season’s musical offering, “Meet Me In St. Louis.”
The musical opens at 8 p.m. Friday and continues through this weekend as well as March 9-11 at Community Theatre of Terre Haute. Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees beginning at 2:30 p.m.
“Meet Me In St. Louis” was first made popular with the 1944 movie starring Judy Garland.
The stage musical was written by Hugh Wheeler, with songs by Hugh Martin and Ralph Bane. The Community Theatre production is directed by Josh Hoffman, with musical direction by Dan Rodriguez and David Gibbs.
“This has always been a favorite show of mine,” Hoffman said. “I love the music and the honesty of the characters. I’ve been blessed with some of the most talented local singers, actors and dancers the area has seen in some time.”
Well-known songs from this family-friendly musical include “The Trolley Song,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “A Day In New York,” “The Boy Next Door” and “Whenever I’m With You.”
Set in 1904, the musical tells the story of the Smith family as they anticipate the World’s Fair being staged in their hometown. Alonzo Smith (Mark Frederick) and wife Anna (Julia Kapke) are sending their firstborn, Lon (Blake Frederick), off to college.
Still at home are all the daughters: Rose (Whitney Kos), Esther (Kilie Hoffa), Agnes (Maria Massey) and Tootie (Amaya Jones). Rounding out the Smith household are Grandpa Prophater (Chuck Shutt) and Katie, the Irish maid (Denise Collins).
With a 27-member cast, this musical promises big dance numbers, including a rousing square-dance production during Lon’s going-away party and another large number called “Banjos” during the Act 2 Christmas ball.
As the story progresses, the audience witnesses the sometimes-awkward first love developing between teenagers Esther and the boy next door, John Truitt (Jeffrey Marks).
After they finally admit they have fallen for each other, their world is disrupted by Mr. Smith’s announcement that the family will be moving to New York City thanks to his job promotion. The whole family is upset, and it’s only made worse by complications in finding dates to the annual Christmas ball.
The cast also includes both Community Theatre veterans and newcomers: Doug Champion as Warren Sheffield, Jill Howard as Lucille Ballard, Tricia Sullivan as Eve, Ralph Frasca as the postman, Ted Compton as the motorman, Matthew Mattox as Clinton Badger, Harry Fields as Pee Wee Drummond, and Tyler Biggs as Sidney Purvis.
The ensemble includes Justine Gibson, Barb Potter, Courtney Dosch, Amelia Compton, Judy Dukes, Katherine Gaston, Sierra Sawtelle and Elaine McVay.
Tickets for the musical are $20 for adults and $15 for youth and students and are available at the theater, 1431 S. 25th St., every day during the show’s run except Monday. Ticket office hours are posted on the website ctth.org.