They don't write musicals like State Fair anymore. Partly because Rodgers and Hammerstein are long deceased, but mostly because State Fair depicts an America that is long gone. The Frakes, a hard-working Iowa farm family, look forward to the state fair every year. Ma Melissa wants to win the mincemeat and pickles contest, especially so she can claim victory over her mincemeat nemesis, Mrs. Metcalf. Pa Abel has designs on winning a blue ribbon with his prize swine, Blueboy. Son Wayne burns to win a game of ring-toss so that he may avenge himself on a carny who he feels rooked him out of a prize last year. And daughter Margy is looking for love. So it's two parts revenge fantasy, one part ambition and one part young-teen-on-the-make maybe they do still make musicals like this. But they don't stock 'em with songs like "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "It's a Grand Night for Singing," that's for damn sure. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Summer Showbiz Theatre presents State Fair at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (July 13 through 23) at the Dunham Hall Theater on the SIUE campus (I-270 and Route 157, Edwardsville, Illinois). Tickets are $12 to $15; call 618-650-2774 for more information.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: July 13. Continues through July 23