Summer in St. Louis wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Muny! This outdoor theater has been St. Louis’s musical mecca for 101 years and has always been magic to me. As a little girl obsessed with musical theater, getting to see a show was always the highlight of my summer. As an adult (still obsessed with musical theater) I love watching my girls become enthralled with the same musicals I grew up with and discovering new ones together.
What kind of shows do they perform?
The Muny does their best to make their season appeal to a wide variety of audiences and I usually love it all! Most of the schedule is family friendly, though there is usually one show aimed towards a more mature audience with adult references, such as Young Frankenstein or the Buddy Holly Story. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Beauty and the Beast or this year, Cinderella, appeal to the youngest of demographics. Classics are a constant presence, for example, this season features Guys and Dolls and 1776, which are balanced with contemporary hits Kinky Boots and Matilda. The Muny does not host traveling tours, like the Fox, which makes each production something special and sometimes puts the Muny ahead of the game. My girls and I had the pleasure of viewing Aladdin at the Muny, before Broadway adopted it a year later!
How Long is the Season?
The season starts in early June and ends around mid-August. It is usually hot, but the large fans keep it surprisingly cool! When I was a kid the fans had to be shut off during the show, because they were so loud. Now they are virtually silent and run the whole time!
How expensive is it?
The Muny has always made it a priority to be accessible to the masses and keeps a certain number of free tickets for each show awarded on a first come, first serve basis. If you don’t want to take your chances or sit in the very back of the theater, tickets start at $15. I like to sit in the front of the C section where I don’t have to worry about trying to see over the person in front of me. Snacks and drinks can be expensive with a fountain drinking costing around $6, but you can bring in your own food and drink.
Parking is abundant both in front and behind the theater, but if you don’t mind walking I suggest parking further out. I have started parking far away and usually am out of Forest Park in 15 minutes, as opposed to the 45 minutes I used to wait when I parked close.
The most important point to emphasize about the Muny is the community it fosters. As mentioned earlier the Muny has been a part of St. Louis for 101 years! Mike Isaacson (Artistic Director and Executive Producer) often introduces the show addressing the audience as we, because to St. Louisans the Muny is part of us. As part of the 100 year campaign the Muny was able to make several changes, including moving 300 year old trees. In every program this season we are assured the trees have been grafted, not destroyed and new trees are coming. The Muny is so much apart of us, we had to know what happened to the landscaping!
Go See a Show
Currently there are 3 shows left:
Footloose July 18-24
Paint Your Wagon July 27-Aug 2
Matilda Aug 5-11
Get there and be a part of a St. Louis tradition!