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Look back on the St. Louis of 105 years ago and laugh knowingly at its quaintness, with its naïve excitement over an impending World's Fair (who'll ever remember that?), and its efficient public transportation system...and, uh...its big hats. Yes, big hats — oh, how foolish they look with those hats shading them from the oppressive summer sun. All right, so maybe those quaint old-timers were on to something. Sally Benson's short stories about life at the Smith's St. Louis household (5135 Kingston Avenue) in 1904 touched hearts, but it wasn't until a little music was added to the tale that Meet Me In St. Louis really took off — and Judy Garland's pipes sure didn't hurt. The Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane/Hugh Wheeler stage musical features even more songs, but retains the same old-time charm. The Smith girls — Rose, Ester, Agnes and little Tootie — are looking for love (Tootie's looking for trouble, actually; she's a tyke), looking forward to the World's Fair and dealing with the unwanted news that the family will relocate to New York. But you can forestall your worries in a song, especially if it's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." There's also that song about the trolleys — something about clangs and dings? What's it called? Oh, it'll come to you. The Muny presents Meet Me In St. Louis at 8:15 p.m. Monday through Sunday (July 6 through 12) at the Muny in Forest Park (314-361-1900 or www.muny.org). Tickets are $9 to $66.
July 6-12, 2009

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