Meridian Star

August 11, 2013

Meridian Performing Arts Center presents ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’

By Linda Bruister
Special to The Star

MERIDIAN —     The Information Age has spoiled peoples around the globe! Astounding that with the click of a keystroke, we become instantly informed about anything and anyone our imaginations could ever conjure!  The Internet, Facebook, Google Earth and YouTube have changed our world!  

    But, imagine this – the days when information about the outside world was obtained only through personal contact, correspondence and newspaper! Hard-working Americans yet to see the invention of the telephone, radio, TV or even the Model T.  Imagine then, the incredible excitement upon learning that your city will be host to the most fantastic show on Earth!  Not just any fair, but The WORLD’S FAIR is coming to town!

    Showcasing cultures from around the globe, demonstrating each country’s industrial innovations, economics, and commerce, the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was advertised as an international forum featuring a massive display with 1200 acres of exhibitions, entertainment, pageantry and technological innovations, the likes of which had never before been seen!  It was to be the experience of a lifetime!   What an opportunity -- exploring the world beyond your everyday existence!  

    Such is our setting for Meridian Performing Arts Center community division production of “Meet Me in St. Louis.”  A musical based on the 1944 film of the same title, about a family living in St. Louis, Missouri on the eve of the 1904 World’s Fair, you will be thoroughly entertained by the talents of Meridian’s finest performers.  It features song favorites such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Skip to My Lou.”  

    Directed by Susie Johnson and Sarah Benton, with musical direction from Apryl Sharp, the story revolves around the Smith family as they anticipate the arrival of the 1904 World’s Fair, only to suddenly learn they may miss it altogether!  With a cast of 31, the lead characters are portrayed by Leslie Johnston (Katie); Elise Benton (Tootie); Zena Limerick (Mr. Smith); Jammy Williams (Mrs. Smith); Lisa Malloy (Esther); Thomas Oates (Grandpa); Sarah Pasha (Agnes); Katelyn Belcher (Rose).  

    Don’t miss this family-friendly, fun and entertaining musical production! Meridianites will be especially thrilled to remember as they watch, that our fair city’s own claim to fame stems from the very setting of this musical production – The Dentzel Carousel was designed and manufactured in 1896 by Gustav Dentzel specifically for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.  

    “Meet Me in St. Louis” performances will be held at the Temple Theatre for the Performing Arts Friday August 16th at 7pm; Saturday August 17th at 7pm, and Sunday August 18th at 2pm.  Adults $15; Students $10.  Tickets may be obtained by calling the Temple Theatre at 601-693-5353.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Article submittedby Linda Bruister