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Ding, ding, ding: Twality stages Meet Me in St. Louis

by: Jaime Valdez Students rehearse “Meet Me In St. Louis” at Twality Middle School during a rehearsal Monday. The play opens at Tigard High School on March 15.

Students at Twality Middle School are inviting people to meet them in St. Louis.

The middle school, which has been putting on big productions of Broadway musicals for years, will premiere 'Meet Me in St. Louis' next week at Tigard High School.

The play is the latest in a long line of yearly musicals that the school has been putting on since the 1980s.

Students have been working every night after school for months to get ready for next week's opening.

'It's a huge commitment, but the kids are amazing,' said co-director Linda Talluto.

'St. Louis' tells the story of the Smith family during the backdrop of the 1904 World's Fair.

The production's songs 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' and 'The Trolley Song' both became standards after the film's release.

Talluto said that when coming up with this year's musical, they wanted a show that could showcase the talents of as many students as possible.

'We wanted to pick a show that doesn't just have one or two leads,' Talluto said during dress rehearsals for the show Monday night. 'St. Louis' has 12 leads and a cast of about 60.

While most schools would find a version of the production easier for students to accomplish, Twality has made a point of using full Broadway versions of its plays.

'We never, ever, do junior productions,' Talluto said. 'If you do something easy, that's what they'll do. But, if you give them a challenge, then that is what they'll do. These kids are serious about this. They work and work and work.'

The sets and costumes were all made by parents, including the production's famous trolley, which rolls across the stage.

The play opens at Tigard High School, Thursday, March 15.