St. Stephen's Gaslight Players mark 40 Years with 'Meet Me in St. Louis'

  • The Smith household members rehearse "Whenever I'm With You."  (L-R) Amelia Ecker Faulstick, Aaron Gomez, Jeff Blume, Phyllis Rotondo, Elise Adams, Emma Faulstick, and Catherine Paul.Marie Burke

    The Smith household members rehearse "Whenever I'm With You." (L-R) Amelia Ecker Faulstick, Aaron Gomez, Jeff Blume, Phyllis Rotondo, Elise Adams, Emma Faulstick, and Catherine Paul.Marie Burke

 
Marie Burke
Updated 3/2/2020 11:23 AM

It's 1903, and all of St. Louis is excited as the city prepares to host the World's Fair. The Gaslight Players of St. Stephen parish take you back to this nostalgic time of innocence as they present "Meet Me in St. Louis." The play is based on the classic 1944 movie starring Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien.

This is the 40th year of performances by the Gaslight Players. Founded by parishioner Joy Joseph, the group now attracts talent from throughout the area. During the show's run, performers from past shows will be recognized and there will be a video montage highlighting scenes of many past productions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Shows are at 7:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, March 13, 14, 20 & 21 and at 3pm Sunday, March 15, in Hanley Hall at St. Stephen Church, 1835 Spruce St., Des Plaines. Tickets are $17 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children. A table for 4 can be reserved for $60. Tickets are available at the parish center (847) 824-2026 or online at phyllissts@gmail.com. If available, tickets will be sold at the door.

On the eve of the World's Fair, we meet the Smith family with a lawyer father, his wife, two teenage daughters, a teenage son, two youngsters and an Irish maid. We follow the family as the teenage girls fall in love, the son prepares to leave for college, the two youngsters get into mischief -- and of course, they ride the trolley!

The Smith household includes Amelia Faulstick as Esther, Sarah Gouwens as Mrs. Anna Smith, Catherine Paul and Maggie Grimaldi as Tootie, Elise Adams as Rose, Emma Faulstick as Agnes, Aaron Gomez as Lon, Scott Skiple as Mr. Alonso Smith, Jeff Blume as Grandpa Prophater and Phyllis Rotondo as their maid, Katie.

Other cast members include Sean Kelly as John Truitt, Zeke Teran as Warren Sheffield, Abby Young as Lucille Ballard, Grace Vana as Eve, Charlie Vana as the Postman, Jerry Dean as the Trolley Motorman, Rob Potempa as Sidney Purvis, Steve Ansfeld as Peewee Drummond and Carlos Arcila as Clinton Badger.

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The adult ensemble members are Sarah Paul, Marie Burke, Gemima Eyeson, Sally Fortier, Mariann Bilodeau, Gabby Potempa, Amelia Potempa, Denise Wiorek, Denise Adams, Paula Cahill and Jim Szczesniak. The children's ensemble members are Aiden Broehl, Brooke Day, Marlo Ansfeld, Sofia Pandolfi, Maya Pandolfi, Faustina Eyeson, Heidi Faulstick, Juliana De Veyra, Gianni Frazier and Allison Fosco.

Music director Tim Vana is assisted by piano accompanist Dan Surma. The play is directed by Libby McGuire Giovanni and Joanna Fosco, and the technical director is Wayne Dean. Producers are Charlie and Jill Vana and Phyllis Rotondo.

The dance numbers are choreographed by Libby McGuire Giovanni and Amelia Faulstick. The set designers are Wayne Dean and Joanna Fosco. The stage manager is Debbie Szczesniak, who also organizes the props. Costumes are coordinated by Debbie Feddeler. The running crew is Dominic Fosco, Matt Zalinski and Evan Markham. Lighting is handled by Dana Palka and sound by Luis Hernandez. The rehearsal sound technician is Glenn Wiorek.

Members of the set contruction and paint crew are Wayne Dean, Jerry Dean, Tom Stancato, Bill Dean, Charlie Vana, Jim Szczesniak, Ray Schrautemyer, Jeff Underwood, Bill Giovanni, John Burke and Bob Silton. The kitchen crew is headed by Danielle Broehl.

Mark your calendar and plan to bring the entire family to this "feel good" show that will have you humming familiar tunes like "Meet Me in St. Louis," or "The Trolley Song" or "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

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