NAMT member The MUNY, well known as a summer theatre, is aiming to become a year-round presence in St. Louis.
“We’ve been Brigadoon,” said the Muny’s Mike Isaacson, referring to the Lerner and Loewe musical about an enchanted Scottish village that emerges briefly, then disappears again into the mists. But it’s time to “wake up” with more diverse programming — programming that maintains the theater’s commitment to musical theater but in a variety of times and places.
According to the Second Century plan, those steps could include:
• Presenting stripped-down, concert-style productions of shows that would not typically be included in a Muny season, performed with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The Muny and the SLSO have begun talking about staging such shows, said Isaacson, the Muny’s artistic director and executive producer. These shows would be similar to the popular Encores! shows in New York, the series that gave the hugely successful revival of “Chicago” its start.
• Workshopping new musicals in development and commissioning others. High-quality new shows draw attention to theaters, said Dennis M. Reagan, the Muny’s president and CEO. He pointed out that a single new show, “Annie,” established the Goodspeed in Connecticut as a nationally important theater. The Muny has already dipped a toe in these waters with the recent production of “Pirates!” and this summer’s production of another new show, “Holiday Inn.”