Play the Songs
Based on the heartwarming MGM film, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is a rare treasure in the musical theatre; a wholesome and delightful portrait of a turn-of-the-century American family. It is the summer of 1903, and the Smith family eagerly anticipates the opening of the 1904 World’s Fair. Over the course of a year, the family’s mutual respect, tempered with good-natured humor, helps them through romance, opportunity, and heartbreaks.
Memorable musical numbers include “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Whenever I’m with You.”
Music samples provided courtesy of DRG Records and Sony/ATV.
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- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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”) which introduces 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. Everyone is excited about the fair. Esther harbors a crush on “The Boy Next Door,” so Mrs. Smith dispenses some motherly advice on love (“You’ll Hear a Bell”).
Esther attempts to serve 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.
At Lon’s going-away-to-college party, Warren – now returned from New York – and Rose sing the delightful duet “A Raving Beauty.” With the party in full swing, Lon leads Warren, Rose and the chorus in a rousing square-dance (“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, John manages to express his feelings as he helps Esther turn down the gaslights (“Over the Bannister”). He then shakes her hand good night. Disappointed by the handshake, Esther nonetheless shrugs it off with a reprise of “The Boy Next Door” and ultimately celebrates new love with “The Trolley Song.”
Act II opens in the kitchen on Halloween night, as Tootie and Agnes prepare to go out trick-or-treating. Katie, left alone with Esther and Rose, instructs them on the ways of romance (“A Touch of the Irish”). 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 (“A Day in New York”), but Mrs. Smith is the only one convinced to make the move. She reaffirms her love for her husband (“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 formal Christmas Ball. Rose attends 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” (“You Are for Loving”). Rose and Warren, and Lucille and Lon, pair off for the duration of the dance.
Back at home, Tootie is upset by the move away from St. Louis. Esther tries to comfort her (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) but Tootie is unconvinced. Mr. Smith joyfully announces that the move is off and everyone celebrates.
The scene and time change to spring, as everyone prepares to attend the World’s Fair (“The Trolley Song/Meet Me In St. Louis”). Suddenly, the singing is interrupted by a blackout. But the lights quickly come up, and the Smith family gapes in wonder at the spectacular panorama of the 1904 World’s Fair.
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
Songs by Book by
Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane 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
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
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
2 Horn I & II
2 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 Keyboard (labeled “Piano”)
Keyboard 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 Violin [3 stands; 5 or 6 players] (1 player doubles Banjorene)
2 Cello [2 stands; 2-4 players]
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material
Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book for Director
19 Prompt Books for Cast
30 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]
(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
Lucille Ballard – a sophisticated and charming young lady
Grandpa Prophater — Mrs. Smith’s father, a Civil War veteran
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
Assembled Guests at Lon’s party
The original Broadway production had a cast of 41 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
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.
The Theatre World Award (Jason Workman)
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Acting Up ROSWELL, GA 07/27/2017 07/30/2017 Christ Memorial Productions SAINT LOUIS, MO 09/15/2017 09/24/2017 Hale Theatre GILBERT, AZ 10/12/2017 11/25/2017 The Candlelight Theatre ARDENTOWN, DE 11/18/2017 12/23/2017 Theatre 29 TWENTY-NINE PALMS, CA 11/24/2017 12/17/2017 Greater Lewisville Community Theatre LEWISVILLE, TX 12/01/2017 12/17/2017 Weathervane Playhouse NEWARK, OH 12/21/2017 12/30/2017