Extravagant costumes, saccharine singing, upbeat dancing, and most importantly, lessons of life, love, and familial ties merge to create an unforgettable performance of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” presented by Summit Christian Academy. “Meet Me in St. Louis”
Before gracing the glamorous stages of Broadway in 1989, “Meet Me in St. Louis” was originally a movie of the same name. Aptly named, the musical is set in 1904 St. Louis, Missouri, amidst the hype of the World’s Fair. “Meet Me in St. Louis” follows the story of the quaint, down-home Smith family, and all of their endeavors in life and love.
Hannah Zizza shines as the show’s protagonist, Esther Smith. Zizza’s eye-catching, emotional facial expressions and lovely lark-like singing make her characterization of the sweet, naïve Esther unequivocally convincing. Zizza’s connection to her character is particularly evident in her moving rendition of the lilting lullaby, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” in which both Zizza’s vivacious vocals and expressive face and body capture the hearts of any lucky listeners.
Though the lead roles in a show are most often noted, a production would be nothing without a praiseworthy supporting cast; luckily, the supporting performers in “Meet Me in St. Louis” are worthy of praise, indeed. Molly Williams stands out as the brash, uninhibited Katie, the Smiths’ Irish maid. Williams’ unwavering Irish accent is notably outstanding, as it is not an easy task to maintain an accent whilst singing and dancing, though Williams manages to do just that- successfully so. Another admirable member of the supporting cast is Jennah Finnegan, who portrays the sweetly humorous and simply adorable, albeit peculiar, Tootie, the youngest of the Smith siblings. The earnest eccentricity that Finnegan brings to her role never fails to garner a sea of laughs whenever she scampers onstage, each time unquestionably up to no good.
While the cast of “Meet Me in St. Louis” is fully deserving of praise, it would be a crime to overlook the technical aspects that tie the show together. The props, mastered by Hailey Trimmer and Hannah Teilborg, are impressively accurate to the time period, and are quite attractive at that. Ornate antique furniture pieces embellish the stage to create the Smiths’ handsome home. The costumes are simply phenomenal, 1904 style- flowing, enchanting dresses adorned with ribbon and lace, along with charming suits and hats for the male cast members, in both an attractive and accurate manner.
Combining sensational acting and top notch technical features, all while reaffirming faith in family and love, Summit Christian Academy’s production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” is not one to miss.
Amanda Hadlock is a student at Belton High School