MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY (Bucks County Playhouse): 60-second review

Photo credit: mkbstudios.com.

Photo credit: mkbstudios.com.

MEET ME IN SAINT LOUIS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY is based on The Kensington Stories by Sally Benson and the MGM motion picture Meet Me in Saint Louis; the musical book written by Hugh Wheeler was expertly adapted to the unique radio play style by Joe Landry. The show follows radio actors Butch Popkin (Garth Kravits), Freddie Fillmore (Jay Russell), Sally Applewhite (Chelsea Packard), Lana Sherwood (Lauren Molina), Jake Laurents (Geoff Packard), and Ethel Potter (Victoria Cook) who are set to perform a radio presentation of Meet Me in Saint Louis. The audience is introduced to the Smith family, a comfortable, (mostly) proper early 1900s family. The story primarily focuses on the daughter Esther (Chelsea Packard), a 17 year old girl navigating her transition to adulthood. Her world is turned upside down when a new neighbor moves in next door and Esther encounters her first real experience with love with handsome, yet indecipherable, John Truett (Geoff Packard).

Simply, this show is fun. The entertainment starts before the official play began under the guise of vaudevillian entertainment in the aisles of the beautifully renovated iconic playhouse. The accomplished actors impressively play multiple roles using clear voice and prop changes to cue transitions from one character to another. The music creates a happy, energetic environment that keeps a smile on the audience’s faces throughout the show. Director Gordon Greenberg elicits the best from his genuine, lighthearted, and purely talented  cast, ensuring an enjoyable show from start to finish. [Bucks County Playhouse] December 4 – 29, 2013, bcptheater.org.

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About the author

Lauren Hartranft

Lauren Hartranft grew up engrossed in books, theater, and music. She daylights as a behavior consultant, which she believes helps her perceive daily life, personalities, and theater in a unique way. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie and borderline hippie who likes to garden, make her own wine, and absorb as much culture from the world around her as possible. Lauren can be reached via email at lhartranft@verizon.net.