‘Meet Me In St. Louis’ a holiday family treat

The Granbury Theatre Company’s production of “Meet Me In St. Louis” that opened Friday is a holiday gift the whole family will enjoy.

The company closes out its successful 2016 Broadway on the Brazos season in a big way at the Opera House with some big performances by cast members, band and crew.

Marvelous costumes, professional sets and the added treat of the live band make this show something to see.

Having musical director Ricky Pope in the pit and fronting the musicians gave this show that extra something special that makes it unique from the season’s other fine productions.

In her first leading role with the GTC, Katy Beckermann is at ease and all in. A natural for the role of Esther Smith, Beckermann gives her best performance yet at the Opera House with delightful voice and can’t-miss style.

I dare you to try to take your eyes off of young Audrey Ann McKee who has a stage presence that’s simply irresistible.

McKee brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm to the role of Tootie Smith by filling up the theatre with her sassy charm and talent.

Jay Lewis brings his “A” game to his character, Alonso Smith, the married father of five kids. Lewis more than carries his weight by bringing to fore his theatre experience for all to enjoy.

It’s always a pleasure to listen to Caitlan Leblo sing, and she really shows off her pipes in her role as Mrs. Anna Smith, Alonso’s wife.

The always cool Christian Loper is again suave as John Truitt, the “boy next door.” As with all of his GTC roles, it’s hard to ignore this guy’s talent in this show.

After a year away from the Granbury stage, Jared Kyle makes an impressive return as Warren Sheppard, the love interest of Rose Smith. With a smooth voice and a soothing style, Kyle makes the most of his important part in the musical.

Great to see Trich Zaitoon perform in this production as Katie. The multiple Column Award nominee brings an impressive background and professionalism to the theatre that stands out.

Dancer Autumn McKee explodes on stage with powerful moves and commanding control.

Always enjoyable Kelly Nickell is fantastic as Rose Smith, both with her comedic timing, expression and great singing chops.

David Midkiff said he was ecstatic about making his debut in Granbury and it shows in his dual roles as Pee Wee Drummond and as part of the ensemble. Midkiff’s excitement and joy of performing can be felt from the front row to the back row of the Opera House. He’s a pleasure to watch.

Nathan Salter as Lon Smith, and Hannah Baker as Agnes Smith, bring a warmth to their brother and sister characters to help round out the depth of talent in the show.

The costumes of Emily Warwick are stunning, and the scenes designed by Kerri Pavelick really helps take you back to old-world St. Louis just prior to the 1904 World’s Fair.

Kudos to the show’s first-time director Kyle Hoffman for bringing it all together. Hopefully this is the first of many shows for the young director.

The show runs through Dec. 23.

For ticket information go online to granburytheatrecompany.org.

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