Meet Me In St. Louis


Based on the heartwarming MGM film, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is a rare treasure in the musical theatre; a wholesome and delightful portrait of a turn-of-the-century American family. It is the summer of 1903, and the Smith family eagerly anticipates the opening of the 1904 World’s Fair. Over the course of a year, the family’s mutual respect, tempered with good-natured humor, helps them through romance, opportunity, and heartbreaks. The musical includes seven of the best-loved songs from the film, plus ten additional Martin and Blane songs written specially for the stage.

Memorable musical numbers include “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Whenever I’m with You.”

Music samples provided courtesy of DRG Records and Sony/ATV.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • Upcoming
  • Act I

    The overture segues directly into the opening number (“Meet Me In St. Louis”) which introduces the Smith family octet: Tootie, the youngest girl; Agnes, her closest sister; Lon, the son ready for college; Mrs. Anna Smith, mother; Katie, the family’s Irish maid; Grandpa Prophater; Rose, the eldest daughter; and Esther, the second oldest. Everyone is excited about the fair. Esther harbors a crush on “The Boy Next Door,” so Mrs. Smith dispenses some motherly advice on love (“You’ll Hear a Bell”).

    Esther attempts to serve family dinner an hour earlier than usual, in order to give Rose some privacy to receive a long distance phone call from a wealthy suitor, Warren Sheffield, who is vacationing in New York. Mr. Smith insists on dinner at the usual time, and despite Katie’s quick pace, the plan fails. The whole family overhears Rose’s disappointing call.

    At Lon’s going-away-to-college party, Warren – now returned from New York – and Rose sing the delightful duet “A Raving Beauty.” With the party in full swing, Lon leads Warren, Rose and the chorus in a rousing square-dance (“Skip to My Lou”). Caught after bedtime watching Lon’s party from the stair landing above, Tootie and Agnes are invited down to perform “Under the Bamboo Tree” as a vaudeville turn for the guests. When the guests go home, Esther and John are left alone. Although he is shy and a bit awkward, John manages to express his feelings as he helps Esther turn down the gaslights (“Over the Bannister”). He then shakes her hand good night. Disappointed by the handshake, Esther nonetheless shrugs it off with a reprise of “The Boy Next Door” and ultimately celebrates new love with “The Trolley Song.”

    Act II

    In the kitchen on Halloween night, Tootie and Agnes prepare to go out trick-or-treating. Katie, left alone with Esther and Rose, instructs them on the ways of romance (“A Touch of the Irish”). Tootie and Agnes return unexpectedly, and Tootie mischievously places the blame for their early return on John Truitt. This, of course, complicates matters between John and Esther, causing a misunderstanding and then an apology. John sings a reprise of “The Girl Next Door.”

    Mr. Smith is offered a promotion at work, but it will require the family to move to New York City. Everyone is upset by this news and has compelling reasons for not wanting to leave St. Louis. Mr. Smith explains the benefits of the big city (“A Day in New York”), but Mrs. Smith is the only one convinced to make the move. She reaffirms her love for her husband (“You’ll Hear a Bell”) and he responds in their duet, “Wasn’t It Fun?”

    The last big social event before the family leaves St. Louis is the formal Christmas Ball. Rose attends with Lon, but Esther is left without an escort; John did not get to the tailor in time to pick up his father’s tuxedo. Grandpa Prophater saves Esther’s evening by wearing his tuxedo and escorting her to the Ball. A prank Esther plans for Lucille, whom Lon admires, backfires on her, and Esther is forced to dance with three less-than-attractive men herself. Everything works out well for the three young couples. John manages to get his tuxedo and unexpectedly arrives at the Ball. Later that evening, he and Esther decide they should wait some time before marrying since they are only “practically of age” (“You Are for Loving”). Rose and Warren, and Lucille and Lon, pair off for the duration of the dance.

    Back at home, Tootie is upset by the move away from St. Louis. Esther tries to comfort her (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) but Tootie is unconvinced. Mr. Smith joyfully announces that the move is off and everyone celebrates.

    The scene and time change to spring, as everyone prepares to attend the World’s Fair (“The Trolley Song/Meet Me In St. Louis”). Suddenly, the singing is interrupted by a blackout. But the lights quickly come up, and the Smith family gapes in wonder at the spectacular panorama of the 1904 World’s Fair.

    Songs by                                        Book by
    Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane                   Hugh Wheeler
    Based on The Kensington Stories by Sally Benson
    and the MGM motion picture Meet Me In St. Louis
    Songs by Martin & Blane published by EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.
    Produced for the Broadway stage by
    Brickhill-Burke Productions, Christopher Seabrooke
    EPI Products™

    Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    Tams-Witmark, A Concord Theatricals Company

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • Full Orchestration

    1 Reed I – Flute, Piccolo and Clarinet
    1 Reed II – Flute and Clarinet
    1 Reed III – Oboe, English Horn (or Clarinet) and Clarinet
    1 Reed IV – Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Bassoon

    2 Horn I & II
    2 Trumpet I & II (both double Flugelhorn; 1st doubles Cornet)
    1 Trumpet III (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trombone I (Tenor Trombone)
    1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone doubling Tuba)

    2 Percussion I & II (trap drum set & mallet instruments)

    Percussion I primarily plays Bells (Glockenspiel), Vibraphone, Xylophone, Timpani (2 drums), Suspended Cymbal, Triangles (small and large); occasionally Bell Tree, Castanets, Chuck Wagon Bell (18-inch Iron Ring); Crotale (E-flat), Gong, Gran Cassa, Jews Harp, Mark Tree, Piatti, Ratchet, Siren Whistle, Slap Stick, and Tambourine.
    Percussion 2 primarily plays trap drum set (Bass Drum, Snare Drum, 2 Rack Toms, Floor Tom and Cymbals: hi-hat, crash, ride, sizzle, splash, thin crash, and large); occasionally Sleigh Bells and Small Triangle.
    Both players use Temple Blocks (5 blocks), Wood Block, Cow Bell and Trolley Bell (Bell Plate or Brake Drum).

    1 Guitar-Banjo
    1 Harp
    1 Keyboard (labeled “Piano”)

    Keyboard part, primarily Piano, Celeste and Arco Strings.
    Other required sounds are Banjo, Bells (Glockenspiel), Calliope, Guitar, Harpsichord, Honkytonk Piano, Piano/Celeste (split keyboard or additional keyboard), Soft Horns, Muted Strings, Woodwinds, and Xylophone. Cues are written for Harp, Horns and Strings.

    3 Violin [3 stands; 5 or 6 players] (1 player doubles Banjorene)
    2 Cello [2 stands; 2-4 players]
    1 Bass

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with the rehearsal material

    Optional additional materials are available (see list under Rehearsal Materials).

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Full Score (Partitur) in 4 volumes is available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the full orchestration. [SAMPLE]

  • Principals

    (6 female; 5 male)

    Esther Smith — lively and attractive daughter, about seventeen
    Mrs. Anna Smith — fortyish, good and loving mother
    Tootie Smith — bright six-year-old daughter
    Rose Smith — beautiful and chic daughter, about eighteen
    Katie — the Smiths’ cook and housemaid, Irish and about fifty
    Agnes Smith — tomboyish twelve-year-old daughter
    John Truitt — handsome, athletic boy next door, about nineteen
    Lon Smith — good-looking, nineteen-year-old Princeton freshman
    Mr. Alonso Smith — fortyish, father and lawyer
    Warren Sheffield — Rose’s suitor, an eligible young man from a rich family
    Lucille Ballard – a sophisticated and charming young lady
    Grandpa Prophater — Mrs. Smith’s father, a Civil War veteran


    Eve — Lon’s date at his going-away party
    Postman — middle-aged Irish man
    Motorman — trolley car driver

    Clinton Badger, Peewee Drummond & Sidney Purvis — three awkward, bumbling young men


    Trolley Passengers
    Assembled Guests at Lon’s party
    Ballroom Couples

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 41 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is the stage version of the memorable 1944 MGM motion picture. It played for 252 performances on Broadway at the George Gershwin Theatre starring Betty Garrett, George Hearn, Charlotte Moore and Milo O’Shea.

    Awards (1990)

    The Theatre World Award (Jason Workman)

  • Act I

    1. Overture – Orchestra
    2. Opening Act One: “Meet Me In St Louis” – The Smith Family Octet
    2a. Underscore – Orchestra
    3. “The Boy Next Door” – Esther
    3a. Scene Change – Orchestra
    4. Reprise: “Meet Me In St. Louis” – Tootie, Agnes, Esther, & Grandpa
    5. “Whenever I’m With You” – The Smith Family Octet
    6. “You’ll Hear A Bell” – Mrs. Smith
    6a. Interval Incidental – Orchestra
    6b. Scene Change – The Smith Family Octet & Chorus
    7. “A Raving Beauty” – Warren & Rose
    7a. Piano Scene Change – Solo Piano
    8. “Skip To My Lou” – Lou, Warren, Rose, Two Girls & Chorus
    9. “Drunk Song” – Tootie
    10. “Under The Bamboo tree” – Tootie, Agnes, & Esther
    11. Underscore – Orchestra with Esther
    12. “Over The Bannister” – John with Esther
    13. “The Trolley Song” – Esther & Chorus

    Act II

    14. Entr’acte – Orchestra
    14a. Scare Incidental – Orchestra
    15. “A Touch Of The Irish” – Katie with Esther & Rose
    16. Reprise: “The Boy Next Door” – John & Esther
    17. “A Day In New York” – Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, Rose, Esther, Katie, & Grandpa
    18. Reprise: “You’ll Hear A Bell” – Mrs. Smith
    19. “Wasn’t It Fun” – Mr. & Mrs. Smith
    20. Scene Change – Orchestra
    20a. Basketball Underscore – Orchestra
    21. Christmas Waltz – Orchestra
    21a. Waltz Underscore – Orchestra
    22. “The Banjo” – Lou & Chorus
    23. Auld Lang Syne – Orchestra
    23a. Scene Change – Chorus
    23b. Underscore: Let’s Wait – Orchestra
    24. “You Are For Loving” – John & Esther
    25. Scene change – Orchestra
    26. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Esther
    27. Decision incidental – Orchestra
    28. Reprise: “The Trolley Song” – Chorus
    28a. Reprise: “Meet Me In St. Louis” – Principals & Chorus
    29. Finale – Mr. Smith, the Smith Family Octet, John, Warren, & Lucille
    30. Bows – Full Company
    31. Exit Music – Orchestra

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Pine Crest School Fort Lauderdale, FL 11/15/2019 11/16/2019
    River Valley Players Henry, IL 11/16/2019 11/24/2019
    Oak Ridge Playhouse Oak Ridge, TN 11/16/2019 12/02/2019
    William Peace University Raleigh, NC 11/21/2019 11/24/2019
    Connecticut Theatre Company New Haven, CT 12/06/2019 12/22/2019
    Liberty Common High School Fort Collins, CO 12/06/2019 12/07/2019
    Spotlight Kids Company Madison, NJ 12/13/2019 12/15/2019
    Premier Arts Elkhart, IN 12/13/2019 12/15/2019
    MoezArt Productions Phoenix, AZ 01/23/2020 02/01/2020
    Cincinnati Landmark Productions Cincinnati, OH 02/13/2020 03/08/2020
    Patio Players of the Plainview Jewish Center Men's Club Plainview, NY 03/07/2020 03/15/2020
    Missouri State University Missouri State University, MO 07/08/2020 07/18/2020
    Sierra Repertory Theatre Columbia, CA 11/20/2020 12/20/2020