* * *
New York’s Irish Repertory Theatre has pulled off another green-screen miracle with its soul-warming webcast of a scaled-down “Meet Me in St. Louis,” Hugh Wheeler’s 1989 stage adaptation of Vincente Minnelli’s justly beloved 1944 screen musical. Last produced by the company in 2007, this revival has been reconceived by Charlotte Moore, the show’s director, for performance by a cast of 13—all taped separately in their homes—and a masked seven-piece chamber orchestra that assembled in the Irish Rep’s Manhattan theater to record the score.
Leading the cast are Shereen Ahmed, Melissa Errico, Max Von Essen and Kylie Kuioka in the roles created onscreen by Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Tom Drake and Margaret O’Brien. None of them makes any effort to mimic the performances of their Hollywood predecessors: Instead, they go their own ways, with superbly impressive, gleamingly well-sung results….
Melissa Errico, who is also a nonpareil cabaret singer, has a fine show of her own streaming this month. Mostly taped on the stage of Long Island’s Bay Street Theatre, “Season of Joy” is her home-cooked version of one of the old-fashioned meet-the-kids celebrity Christmas TV specials with which my generation grew up…
If you’re searching for a darker alternative to the usual holiday fare, look westward to California’s North Coast Repertory Theatre. The company is webcasting “An Iliad,” the 2012 Lisa Peterson-Denis O’Hare two-hander—one actor, one cellist, in this case Richard Baird and Amanda Schaar—that uses Robert Fagles’s translation of Homer’s epic poem as the point of departure for a colloquial retelling of the Trojan War myth. It’s a show with an eternally relevant message, which is that war has the evil power to seduce men with “the smell of blood and bronze.…Every time I sing this song, I hope it’s the last time.” It is also eerily timely (I actually jumped when Mr. Baird told us that a fire he saw on the beach consisted of “men and mules and dogs…infected by the plague”)…
* * *Read the whole thing here.
A video trailer for Meet Me in St. Louis: