"Meet Me in St. Louis": Hello, trolley!
Last Edit: WaymanWong 02:50 am EST 11/12/20
Posted by: WaymanWong 02:39 am EST 11/12/20
In reply to: Irish Rep is presenting "Meet Me in St. Louis" digital production next month - Ann 06:53 pm EST 11/11/20

I've always loved the 1944 MGM musical of ''Meet Me in St. Louis,'' thanks to Judy Garland's iconic performance and Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane's beautiful tunes, like ''The Trolley Song'' and ''Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'' Though no stage adaptation could ever re-create its magic, I really enjoyed the 1989 Broadway show and its wonderful cast, which included Donna Kane and Jason Workman, both Theatre World winners.

Howard Kissel of the N.Y. Daily News gave ''Meet Me in St. Louis'' one of its better reviews and called it ''an unexpected delight. If this show doesn't charm you, your heart must be even harder than a theater critic's.'' (I edited Howard, so I put the banner headline on his review: HELLO, TROLLEY!)

Other reviews were not so favorable, and one pan in Theatre Week actually inspired me to write a letter, defending the Tony-nominated show, and the magazine printed it. So imagine my surprise when I got a neatly typed thank-you letter weeks later at my home. It read:

''Dear Mr. Wong: I took your address out of the NYC phone directory, so if there is more than one Wayman Wong, I'm in trouble!

''If, however, you are the gentleman who wrote that gratifying letter about 'Meet Me in St. Louis' in Theatre Week, then I must really thank you personally for the things you said. .... How very thoughtful of you to have taken the time to write it. It encouraged me greatly, and I have a strong hunch that it warmed the hearts of many of the cast, staff and crew of our little opus. With grateful thoughts - Hugh Martin.''

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