By Dale Burrows For The Enterprise
1904 when St. Louis was hosting the World Fair dates the story. 1944 when MGM released the motion picture dates the musical. Talk about retro. This is Village looking back at a musical that is looking back.
So what’s this “Meet Me in St. Louis” got in our forward looking time?
In a word, heart. The folks from Issaquah put theirs into it.
Teenage romance, kids bugging each other, dad bringing home the bacon and mom running the household hardly constitute story material, cutting edge.
Yet, family values come through, flags flying, with solid veteran actor, John Patrick Lowrie, and accomplished actress, teacher of musical theater and Edmonds resident, Frances Leah King, as mom and dad. There may be nothing new in what they do. But the way they do it communicates stability in times of change.
A more All American valentine than Ryah Nixon and Jason Kappus as the daughter with a crush on the boy next door, you won’t find next month anywhere.
John David Scott’s Ivy League-collegiate could have cast in any of MGM’s musical during their heyday. Scott’s got that peppy, preppy, Mickey Rooney energy.
She is ladylike, proper and pining to reel in the man in her dreams. She is Bryan Tramontana, here making her Village debut.
The bratty kids you got to love are KIDSTAGE student, Katie Griffith, and stage sparkplug, Analiese Emerson Guettinger. Together, something is always cooking.
Did you hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” last month? How about “Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley” from “The Trolley Song?” Or “The Boy Next Door?”
The air waves carried those tunes coast to coast when “St. Louis” took the country by storm. Everyone was singing and dancing them then, and everyone on stage sings and dances them here. Glitz, glam and flash made them exciting then. Big, bright and bold make them electrifying here.
This is Village on parade. See it at Everett Performing Arts Center. It will take you along.
It did me.