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'Meet me' at Village Theater

Published on: December 30, 2013

5394_smVillage Theatre's production of "Meet Me in St. Louis" is as romantic and old-fashioned as they come - but VT's take on the classic is also funny and surprising, and, as we've come to expect from this excellent Eastside theater, technically sharp.

Like most musicals, the show is fairly long - two and a half hours, including an intermission - but the action never flags, and my 10-year-old male seatmate stayed interested and engaged. Part of the appeal are the gorgeous sets, which include an ingenious house that slides to reveal interior and exterior scenes. The first time the set moved, there was an audible gasp in the audience, followed by applause.  A rotating trolley in the second half adds interest for wheel-obsessed little boys.

Even if you've never seen this classic - based on a much-beloved Judy Garland film - you'll probably recognize the music, which includes the lovely "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and that earworm of a title song (which said 4th grader was still singing the next day). The show is unapologetically romantic, as two daughters of a large and quirky - but very loving family - look for boyfriends and garner sage advice from the wry Irish maid.

There is much singing and dancing - and I do mean much - and the wonderful, earnest cast never lands a foot or a note wrong. Themes of female independence and family togetherness make this musical a terrific family outing, and in this intimate theater on Issaquah's Front Street, there's nary a bad seat. Best for about ages 8 and older (because of its length).

In Issaquah through Jan. 3; then at the Everett Performing Arts Center, Jan. 8-31. Get your tickets here.

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