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Meet Me In St. Louis

Description

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is a rare treasure in the musical theatre, and is based on the heartwarming movie. Join the Smith family at the 1904 World’s Fair, and see how their love and respect for each other is tempered with the genuine humor that can only be generated by such a special family. Memorable musical numbers include The Boy Next Door, A Raving Beauty, The Trolley Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Whenever I’m with You and A Day in New York. Suddenly there’s a blackout. Imagine yourself standing with the family as the lights from the World’s Fair fill the stage; you’ve never seen such a spectacular panorama in your life! Music samples provided courtesy of DRG Records and Sony/ATV.

Synopsis

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is the story of a happy family’s life, as they anticipate the wonders of the 1904 World’s Fair. The play includes seven of the best loved songs from the film and ten other wonderful numbers, also by Martin and Blane, written specially for the stage.
The Overture segues directly into the Opening Number – Meet Me In St. Louis, where we find ourselves in front of the Smith family home. The principals sing the title song introducing themselves (the Smith family octet): Tootie, the youngest girl; Agnes, her closest sister; Lon, the son ready for college; Mrs. Anna Smith, mother; Katie, the family’s Irish maid; Grandpa Prophater; Rose, the eldest daughter; and Esther, the second oldest daughter. We learn of their excitement about the fair, of Esther’s crush on The Boy Next Door, and Mrs. Smith’s advice to her daughter in You’ll Hear a Bell.
Esther attempts to hold the family dinner an hour earlier than usual, in order to give Rose some privacy to receive a long distance phone call from a wealthy suitor, Warren Sheffield, who is vacationing in New York. Mr. Smith insists on dinner at the usual time, and despite Katie’s quick pace the plan fails. The whole family overhears Rose’s disappointing call. The tone picks up quickly, and we find ourselves at Lon’s going away to college party. Warren has returned from New York by now, and he and Rose sing the delightful duet A Raving Beauty. In Warren’s refrain, she is “winsome, wise and easy on the eyes”, and in Rose’s tongue-in-cheek refrain he is “wayward, bad and all kinds of a cad.”
With the party in full swing, Lon leads Warren, Rose and the Chorus in the rousing square-dance production number Skip to My Lou. Caught after bedtime watching Lon’s party from the stair landing above, Tootie and Agnes are invited down to perform Under the Bamboo Tree as a vaudeville turn for the guests.
When the guests go home, Esther and John are left alone. Although he is shy and a bit awkward, he manages to sing the touching waltz, Over the Bannister, to Esther as he helps her turn down the room gaslights. He then shakes her hand good night. She is disappointed by the handshake as any teenage girl would be, but shrugs it off with a reprise of The Boy Next Door and then The Trolley Song.
The Second Act opens on Halloween night in the kitchen, as Tootie and Agnes prepare to go out trick-or-treating. When Katie is left alone with Esther and Rose, she instructs them in the song and horn-pipe dance A Touch of the Irish on how best to handle romantic situations from a woman’s perspective. Tootie and Agnes return unexpectedly, and Tootie mischievously places the blame for their early return on John Truitt. This, of course, complicates matters between John and Esther causing a misunderstanding and then an apology. John sings a reprise of The Girl Next Door.
Mr. Smith is offered a promotion at work, but it will require the family to move to New York City. Everyone is upset by this news and has compelling reasons for not wanting to leave St. Louis. Mr. Smith explains the benefits of the big city in A Day in New York, but Mrs. Smith is the only one willing to make the move. She explains her love for her husband in a reprise of You’ll Hear a Bell, and he responds in their duet Wasn’t It Fun?
The last big social event before the family leaves St. Louis is the Christmas Ball, a very formal party. Rose goes with Lon, but Esther is left without an escort; John did not get to the tailor in time to pick up his father’s tuxedo. Grandpa Prophater saves Esther’s evening by wearing his tuxedo and escorting her to the Ball. A prank Esther plans for Lucille, whom Lon admires, backfires on her, and Esther is forced to dance with three less-than-attractive men herself. Everything works out well for the three young couples. John manages to get his tuxedo and unexpectedly arrives at the Ball. Later that evening, he and Esther decide they should wait some time before marrying since they are only “practically of age.” They reaffirm their love in the beautiful duet You Are for Loving. Rose and Warren, and Lucille and Lon pair off for the duration of the Ball.
Back in the living room at home, Tootie is upset by the move away from St. Louis. Esther tries to comfort her with Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, but it is not until Mr. Smith announces that the move is off that everyone is truly happy again.
The scene and time change to spring, and the chorus sings a reprise of The Trolley Song as everyone prepares to go to the World’s Fair. The chorus is interrupted by the Smith family gathering and singing a reprise of Meet Me in St. Louis. There is a blackout. Suddenly lights come up and we are with the Smith family observing the spectacular panorama of the 1904 World’s Fair.

Credits

Songs by Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Based on “The Kensington Stories” by Sally Benson and the MGM motion picture “Meet Me in St. Louis”
Songs by Martin & Blane published by EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.
Produced for the Broadway stage by Brickhill – Burke Productions, Christopher Seabrooke and EPI Products™

Orchestration

Full Orchestration

1 Reed I – Flute, Piccolo and Clarinet
1 Reed II – Flute and Clarinet
1 Reed III – Oboe, English Horn (or Clarinet) and Clarinet
1 Reed IV – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Bassoon

1 Horn I & II
1 Trumpet I & II (both double Flugelhorn; 1st doubles Cornet)
1 Trumpet III (doubling Flugelhorn)
1 Trombone I (Tenor Trombone)
1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone doubling Tuba)

2 Percussion I & II (trap drum set & mallet instruments)

Percussion I primarily plays Bells (Glockenspiel), Vibraphone, Xylophone, Timpani (2 drums), Suspended Cymbal, Triangles (small and large); occasionally Bell Tree, Castanets, Chuck Wagon Bell (18-inch Iron Ring); Crotale (E-flat), Gong, Gran Cassa, Jews Harp, Mark Tree, Piatti, Ratchet, Siren Whistle, Slap Stick, and Tambourine.
Percussion 2 primarily plays trap drum set (Bass Drum, Snare Drum, 2 Rack Toms, Floor Tom and Cymbals: hi-hat, crash, ride, sizzle, splash, thin crash, and large); occasionally Sleigh Bells and Small Triangle.
Both players use Temple Blocks (5 blocks), Wood Block, Cow Bell and Trolley Bell (Bell Plate or Brake Drum).

1 Guitar-Banjo
1 Harp
1 Piano
Synthesizer part, primarily Piano, Celeste and Arco Strings.
Other required sounds are Banjo, Bells (Glockenspiel), Calliope, Guitar, Harpsichord, Honkytonk Piano, Piano/Celeste (split keyboard or additional keyboard), Soft Horns, Muted Strings, Woodwinds, and Xylophone. Cues are written for Harp, Horns and Strings.

3 Violins (1 player doubles Banjorene)
2 Cello
1 Bass

Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material

Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

Rehearsal Materials

1       Piano Conductor’s Score
1       Prompt Book
5       Prompt Books for Principal Characters
14     Dialogue Parts
37     Chorus-Vocal Parts

Optional Additional Materials

1       Tams Rehearsal Aid
1       Full Score (Partitur) in 4 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]
 

Cast List

Principals

(6 female; 5 male)

Esther Smith — lively and attractive daughter, about seventeen
Mrs. Anna Smith — fortyish, good and loving mother
Tootie Smith — bright six-year-old daughter
Rose Smith — beautiful and chic daughter, about eighteen
Katie — the Smiths’ cook and housemaid, Irish and about fifty
Agnes Smith — tomboyish twelve-year-old daughter
John Truitt — handsome, athletic boy next door; about nineteen
Lon Smith — good-looking, nineteen-year-old Princeton freshman
Mr. Alonso Smith — fortyish, father and lawyer
Warren Sheffield — Rose’s suitor, an eligible young man from a rich family
Grandpa Prophater — Mrs. Smith’s father, a Civil War veteran

Supporting

Eve — Lon’s date at his going-away party
Postman — middle-aged Irish man
Motorman — trolley car driver

Clinton Badger, Peewee Drummond & Sidney Purvis — three awkward, bumbling young men

Ensemble

Trolley Passengers
Assembled Guests at Lon’s party
Ballroom Couples
Carolers

The original Broadway production had a cast of 41 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

Brief History

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is the stage version of the memorable 1944 MGM motion picture. It played for 252 performances on Broadway at the George Gershwin Theatre starring Betty Garrett, George Hearn, Charlotte Moore and Milo O’Shea.

Awards (1990)

The Theatre World Award (Jason Workman)