Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Meet Me in St. Louis (Drury Lane Water Tower) - 11/19/08

This production of "Meet Me in St. Louis", which is a remount of Drury Lane's Oak Brook production, fits cozily in the (relatively) intimate Drury Lane Theater in the Water Tower Place. This being a dated piece, I fully expected to roll my eyes over the sticky sweetness on stage, and I did. However, what I did not realize is how pleasingly spunky the show is. In large part, I attribute this to director Jim Corti's breathless pacing and lean, efficient staging: one scene melds into the next with such ease and pizzazz (although some of the choreography is a bit clunky) that you don't have time to "rot your teeth". Same goes with the performers; they all seem to favor attitude over sentiment, which seems to double the effect of moments of true sentiment (notably the "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" number). All in all, a more than solid mounting of a classic show by a theater company back on the rise. The show deserves to be a holiday hit.

Rating: ***1/2 (out of *****)

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