Ocean State Theatre Company, RI

A bright, nostalgic Meet Me in St. Louis at OSTC

"Meet Me in St. Louis rivals Miracle on 34th Street, previously done by OSTC, as the musical extravaganza of the Christmas season. It is uplifting, cheerful, schmaltzy theatre that leaves you thinking good thoughts at a time when we could use some good thoughts.”

“OSTC’s Christmas gift is the latest reincarnation of the 1989 musical, which many of us remember as the 1940s movie starring a young, innocent Judy Garland. Ocean State’s production is splendid, as we have come to expect from our Warwick-based theatre.”

“Director/choreographer Gary John La Rosa has given us his experience of directing over 200 shows, including three former productions of Meet Me in St. Louis, and his magic touch is seen in every scene.”

“So “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” enjoy the romance with “The Boy Next Door,” enjoy the classic “The Trolley Song” and then Meet Me in St. Louis…or in this case, Warwick."

Dan Fowler – Warwick Beacon/Cranston Herald

Meet Me in St. Louis Delivers a Good Dose of Christmas Cheer

"With holiday merriment abounding at local theaters, Ocean State Theatre Company chimes in with the musical Meet Me in St. Louis. And, while Christmas may not be the focal point, there is enough caroling, gift giving and illuminated trees to fill one with a good dose of Christmas cheer. Highlighted by several strong performances and fantastic ensemble numbers, it makes a jolly good addition to any holiday ‘to see’ list.”

“While OSTC’s production features some marvelous vocalists, it is the ensemble numbers, choreographed by director and choreographer Gary John La Rosa, that steal the show.”

“The first big ensemble piece is a pretty jiggy ‘Skip to My Lou’ complete with square dancing, cartwheels, men and women flipping and three men doing the coffee grinder! ‘The Trolley Song,’ another wonderful company number, closes Act I with more clever choreography and the very catchy ‘Clang, clang, clang went the trolley’ chorus that many were singing or humming while filing out for intermission."

Mark Morin – Motif Magazine

Review: Meet Me in St. Louis

"Memorable numbers include ‘The Boy Next Door’, ‘Under the Bamboo Tree,’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘The Trolley Song.’”

Gary John La Rosa returns as director/choreographer of this musical. He picks a very talented cast who can sing these classic songs, dance up a storm and act beautifully as these early twentieth century characters. La Rosa has a keen eye for blending the comic and dramatic elements of a musical splendidly and this show is another feather in his cap. His dance numbers sparkle and shine especially ‘The Banjo,’ ‘The Trolley Song,’ ‘The Christmas Waltz’ and ‘Skip to My Lou.’ They include struts, cakewalks, square dances to name a few which the cast executes perfectly.”

“One of the best dancers in the show …who leads the dancers in the energetic square dance ‘Skip to My Lou’ and the magnificent ‘The Banjo’ number with a cake walk that rivals the one from ‘Mame.’ Kudos to the chorus members on their topnotch singing and dancing prowess.”

“So for a trip back to the carefree days of the last century, be sure to catch the heartwarming Meet Me in St. Louis at Ocean State Theatre Company. It will bring you into the spirit of the holiday season."

Tony Annicone – The Theatre Mirror

Review: Meet Me in St. Louis 'a pretty package'

"If you want to have yourself a merry little Christmas – without a hint of Scrooge – check out Ocean State Theatre Company’s Meet Me in St. Louis.”

“… who leads the cast through the sprightly dance numbers such as ‘Skip to My Lou’ and ‘The Banjo.’ Gary John La Rosa both directed and choreographed… he created hugely entertaining dance numbers.”

“Meet Me in St. Louis is a pretty package for this holiday season, and one that will appeal to all ages."

Liz Boardman – Independent Newspapers

Review: Meet Me in St. Louis

"Just in time for the Holidays, Ocean State Theatre Company brings a classic musical to life in a spirited production.”

“This production is highlighted by some old time songs, but the choreography brings them to life, never stalling at any point, and is a welcome change from modern theater.”

“Director and choreographer Gary John La Rosa uses his talented cast to full effect and the result is a fun Holiday ride that keeps your feet tapping and your hands clapping."

Will Demers – Edge Providence

OST's Meet Me in St. Louis Delivers Holiday Song, Dance, Romance

"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.”

“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’”

Gary John La Rosa directed and choreographed. The audience showed their appreciation for their efforts, especially Pothier’s heartfelt, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ in a poignant scene with … 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."

Rob Borkowski – Warwick Post

Ocean State's Meet Me in St. Louis a holiday treat

"There are lots of things to admire about Ocean State Theatre’s Meet Me in St. Louis – handsome sets and costumes, and some decent acting. And the big show-stoppers, like a rollicking square-dance number with cartwheels and flips, and the familiar ‘The Trolley Song,’ deliver.”

“Whatever sins this show commits, though, are more than made up for in look and spirit of the production. So if you’ve had your fill of A Christmas Carol, then Meet Me in St. Louis offers a nice change of pace."

Channing Gray – Providence Journal

New London Barn Playhouse, NH

“St. Louis may be threatened by the Mississippi flood crest but the New London Barn Playhouse production of the stage musical based on the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis…is high, and dry and a treat for the whole family.”

Gary John La Rosa's direction and choreography is outstanding and the rousing 'Skip to My Lou' beautifully tests the troupes dancing talent. It's alone worth the price of admission.”

Montclair Musical Theatre, NJ

Meet Me in St. Louis – A Sugar-Sprinkled, Musical Confection

"…A sweeter, more honey-scented, sugar-sprinkled musical confection could not be imagined. This is old-fashioned, let-the-good-times-roll entertainment…"

"The well-conceived choreography of La Rosa makes dancers and non-dancers alike look like terpsichorean wonders, turning the rollicking square dance 'Skip to My Lou' into a crackerjack dance routine."

"Don't miss hopping on board the MOC trolley to meet your friends and neighbors at Meet Me in St. Louis…"

Naomi Siegel – The Montclair Times

St. Louis sparkles with nostalgia, talent

“…a sparkling production that will tug at your heartstrings and wow you with the sheer talent and artistry spilling over…”

Gary John La Rosa's choreography is sprightly and interesting and very well executed by the cast, and his sure hand has directed the production to move smoothly and steadily…”

“So hurry on over to Meet Me in St. Louis through Saturday for a glorious evening of song, dance and family values. You won't want to miss it!”

Ruth Ross – Essex Journal

© 2024 Gary John La Rosa