Review: Meet Me in St. Louis at Woodland Opera House

Showtimes: Fri 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm; through 12/16; $7-$25; Woodland Opera House, 340 2nd Street in Woodland; (530) 666-9617;
Rated 5.0

If you enjoyed the MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis, you’ll love the Woodland Opera House stage version. This production is crisply directed by Rodger McDonald, beautifully costumed by Denise Miles, vibrantly choreographed by Darryl Strohl-DeHerrera and topped with a first-rate cast.

The book by Hugh Wheeler differs slightly from the movie, giving daughter Esther (the Judy Garland character) a smaller role and the rest of the family larger roles, but it all works as we follow the Smith family in St. Louis throughout the year leading up to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exhibition.

Kirsten Myers, as Esther, has a warm and mellow voice, splendidly giving life to the young girl in love with the boy next door, John Truitt, played by Skyler King. Jori Gonzales is Esther’s older sister Rose, while young Lilac Buckser is irresistible as the mischievous Tootie.

Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, who wrote wonderful songs for the movie such as “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” composed 10 additional songs for the stage, including “Touch of the Irish,” a fun chance for the housekeeper Katie (Charlotte French) to shine.

This is a lovely production, and anyone who liked the movie will thoroughly enjoy it. Anyone who has not seen the movie will simply enjoy the story as it unfolds (and will likely join in the “Meet Me in St. Louis” sing-along at the end!)