Warwick, RI – Ocean State Theatre’s production of ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ brought another ensemble cast to bear on the adaptation of the eponymous 1944 musical MGM film, with singing, occasionally acrobatic dance and a skillfully cast love story.’
Joshua Stenseth of New York City and Sarah Pothier of Rumford play the romantic leads Esther Smith and her next door neighbor John Truitt, whose romance builds during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
The musical is ostensibly about the entire Smith family, but the actors’ chemistry stood out among the opening night performances Dec. 6, aptly so, as real-life witnesses to new love will know.
The stand-out performances were underlined by Pothier’s moving rendition of “The Boy Next Door,”
The show also features “The Trolley Song,” “Under the Bamboo Tree,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” for the holiday-inclined.
Halloween enjoys significant attention in the plot, providing a look at trick-or-treating in the early 1900s.
Gary John La Rosa directed and choreographed the show, with musical director and local musician Esther Zabinski, who worked on this season’s opening production of My Fair Lady.
The audience showed their appreciation for their efforts, especially Pothier’s heartfelt, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” in a poignant scene with Bobby Celine Doherty, of Stonington, Conn., as 6 year old, Tootie Smith.
The choreography was also well received, including an impressive line of the male members of the ensemble who, arm in arm, performed a wave of backflips that got loud and enthusiastic applause.
Lifelong friends Hannah Spacone of Providence as Rose and Pothier play the eldest Smith daughters, New York actor Michael Luongo plays their brother, Lon, Lily McMahon of Warwick plays Agnes, and Celine Doherty as the youngest daughter.
In the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Smith are Ronald L. Brown, who recently completed a 14-month national tour of Evita, making his OSTC debut, and Rebecca Barko, of New Haven, Conn.,.
Other local actors include Josh Christensen, Aaron O’Brien Mackisey, Abigail McMahon and Laurel McMahon of Warwick, Alex LeBlanc of East Greenwich, Devin Marchany of Cranston, Brad Foster Reinking of Barrington, and Alison Russo of Pawtucket.
The theatre is located at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI. Tickets are $39-$54. Tickets will be available at the box office Tuesday through Friday from noon – 6:00 pm, Saturdays from 12 noon – 4:00 pm, and up until curtain on performance days. Tickets are also available online 24 hours a day atwww.OceanStateTheatre.org and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling (401) 921-6800.
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