Margaret O’Brien returns for encore appearance at MTW’s Meet Me in St. Louis
2009-11-12 · By Editor
Musical Theatre West recently announced that Margaret O’Brien, who starred as Tootie Smith opposite Judy Garland in the classic MGM film Meet Me In St. Louis, will return this weekend to attend two performances of the stage adaptation at the beautiful Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach.
Ms. O’Brien will be at the matinee performances Saturday and Sunday, November 14-15 at 2:00 p.m. and will be available at intermission and after the performance to meet audience members and sign photos in support of the non-profit organization, The Southern California Motion Picture Council. Ms. O’Brien greeted the cast and many of her fans this past weekend and due to the overwhelming response she received will be returning to MTW for two more performances of Meet Me in St. Louis in Long Beach.
Margaret O’Brien is widely considered to be one of the greatest child film actors of all time. She rose to fame during the Golden Era of Hollywood studio films, making her debut in “Babes on Broadway” (1941) when she was just four years old and achieving national prominence for her performance in “Journey for Margaret” (1942), after which MGM signed her to a long-term contract.
Ms. O’Brien’s most notable role was as youngest daughter Tootie Smith in 1944’s “Meet Me In St. Louis.” Her memorable performance opposite Judy Garland (also in one of her best-known roles) earned her a Special Juvenile Academy Award (following in the footsteps of Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, and Ms. Garland), and made her one of the highest-paid entertainers in America that year. She continued to shine in such films as “Unfinished Dance” (1947), “The Secret Garden” (1948) and “Little Women” (1949). Known as “America’s favorite sweetheart,” Ms. O’Brien was featured on paper dolls, coloring books, and dozens of other products. Since that time Ms. O’Brien has continued to appear in film and television shows, and has also become active in charitable affairs.
The signed photos will be $10 each, and all proceeds from the photo sales will be donated to The Southern California Motion Picture Council. Founded in 1936, the Council is a non-profit organization which promotes the best in motion pictures. To this end, the Council encourages production of family oriented films and television programs; promotes civic-minded, educational and cultural programs of exceptional merit and presents awards for the best in movies, television, stage plays and the performing arts.
Tickets are still available for both performances and can be purchased by calling the MTW Box Office at (562) 856-1999 x4 or visiting www.musical.org.
Musical Theatre West’s production of Meet Me In St. Louis opened on October 31 and runs through November 15 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. A heartwarming tale of love and family against the backdrop of the 1904 World’s Fair, the stage adaption of the film debuted on Broadway in 1989 and has enjoyed great regional success since that time. The score by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane features such timeless classics as “The Trolley Song,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door” and the title song.
Starring in this production are Tony nominee Mary Gordon Murray, Broadway veterans Norman Large and Kevin Cooney and Southern California stage regulars Cassie Silva, Sarah Bermudez, Robert Pieranunzi, Cathy Newman and Jeremy Bernard as well as Jason Evans, Alexa Freeman, and Grace Kaufman. Meet Me In St. Louis was directed by Richard Israel, with choreography by Lee Martino and musical direction by Daniel Thomas.
Musical Theatre West performances are at the beautiful 1070-seat Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.