Must-See Upgrades to The Muny
The Muny, the country’s oldest and largest outdoor theater, has always been a special event for theatergoers. A night in Forest Park under the stars enjoying classics like Annie and newer productions including Jersey Boys has become a requisite outing to enjoy summer in St. Louis. Now, nights at The Muny are about to be even more magical.
The theater, in its second century, has been undergoing significant upgrades that will provide patrons with a more modernized experience. With a remodeled stage, improved audio and lighting, and even a new cooling system, The Muny is better than ever and ready for fans to enjoy this season of fantastic shows.
The new state-of-the-art stage will feature a light bridge to illuminate the front of the stage further. There are also towers on each side of the stage that house electronic and sound equipment that will provide richer audio. The towers will be hidden by decorative shells in 2020, adding a visually dramatic element. Another feature of the new stage is a deck that offers better versatility with an advanced turntable and tracking system that will allow for more accurate and timely transitions between scenes. The theater experience has been heightened onstage as well as offstage.
You will not only be able to hear the orchestra better but also get a more unobstructed view of the musicians in action as they perform and bring scenes to life. The orchestra pit will offer better shelter and climate control for the musicians as well. Along with a stellar orchestral experience, an advanced lighting system will aid in translating the majesty of each show.
“The upgraded lighting gives us full range of color on every fixture that we hang,” said Tracy Utzmyers Production Manager at The Muny.
The lighting will contribute more vibrancy to performances. To add depth to the scenery, two LED walls which provide digital images and have double the surface space of previous installations were added downstage. This enhanced lighting will enrich the visuals of the set for more compelling storytelling. However, even with all these wonderful changes, it can be challenging to enjoy a night out in St. Louis summer heat. So, get ready to enjoy a new cooling system!
A new air diffuser system and 24 blowers with 140 directional vents will generate more airflow to keep the audience comfortable. With minimal sound, the cool breezes won’t interfere with the ability to hear the productions. So with this season’s lineup, you won’t want to miss a thing. There’s something for everyone, and everyone is invited to enjoy.
“The Muny has always been a gathering place for the whole community, removing barriers of access to art. It represents St. Louis, and we believe we reflect civic pride,” said Kwofe Coleman, Managing Director of The Muny.
The theater’s pride comes from being a space where St. Louisans and tourists from all walks of life and identities sit together to relax and revel in a shared moment.
“It doesn’t matter where your seats are, or if you drove or took the MetroLink to get here, everyone, for a few hours, is having the same experience,” Coleman said.
For someone who’s never been to The Muny, this season’s Kinky Boots is a great option for a newcomer looking to dip a toe into the theater’s pool of productions. However, if you’re looking for a musical the whole family would enjoy, the classic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a sure bet. In looking ahead to the second century, though it holds several goals in sight, the prestigious institution which offers several education programs wants to continue being a community-oriented space.
“Art matters and we want to remain a premier institution that extends our resources to new generations of people,” Coleman said. “Part of who we are and our success is the neighborhood we’re in. This Park is such an asset to the community. It’s the crown jewel of this city and The Muny is part of the identity of St. Louis, for and by the people. Our success lies in the hands of our community.”
To check out this season’s full lineup of shows, click here.
Photo Credit: Muny Staff Photographer