Testimonials from those with cherished memories
From those on the stage to those revering the stage, The Muny has created lifelong memories for many:
Claire Logan says now that she’s older, she realizes “how lucky” she was to be born in St. Louis and “blessed” to be a Muny Kid and Muny Teen, starting with “Annie” in 2009. For her, growing up with, and at, The Muny was the norm. “There’s absolutely nothing like being on that stage, the impact of seeing 10,000 people, sharing the whole experience with Broadway choreographers, directors and actors,” she reminisces.
Claire says she always felt valued with The Muny family, and that it ignited her passion for musical theater. “It was easy to fall in love with The Muny; its community is incredibly special.”
Melody Miller moved to St. Louis upon graduating college in 1991. She enjoyed many a beautiful summer evening eating Chinese food on Forest Park grass waiting for The Muny gates to open for the amazingly free seats. Her first experience was “South Pacific,” for which old WWII aircraft actually flew over the stage.
Although Melody moved away, she kept all those fond Muny memories in her heart. After her children grew into musical-loving teens, 20 years later, her family began to make the 5-hour car drive from Iowa to enjoy the free Muny nights, eating Imo’s pizza on the lawn.
Rachel Read‘s grandparents were Muny season ticket holders. Each year, they let her pick one show and bought an additional ticket so she could go with them. Even when she moved to Kentucky, she always spent the week with them leading up to their Friday night Muny tickets. “I saw so many amazing shows with them. They have since passed away, but I’ve returned to the Muny with my husband and hope to take my daughter there someday soon!”
Elizabeth Greiner once snuck onto the Muny stage around midnight with a friend so they could pretend they were performing; it was when a tree was still in the middle of the stage. She and her daughter relished buying tickets each summer as their special bonding time.
Even though Elizabeth moved from St. Louis, she kept her Muny tickets, sometimes giving them to charities. “Being one of the first to donate to the Muny endowment fund, I strongly believe in the arts and the fact that children need to be exposed to such a wonderful venue. The Muny will always be in my heart, and I suspect in a couple of years my daughter will be back in St. Louis, and as she starts her family, she, too, hopefully, can find that bond we found.”
Rachel Bladow got hooked on Muny magic as a young girl, which inspired her to participate in school, camp and community theater. “Every summer we’d return to the magical Muny to be swept away by the sights and sounds. I even made it a summer goal to see every Muny show; I was proudly able to succeed for a few seasons,” she says.
After Rachel moved to Florida and studied biology, she says people asked her how she was comfortable giving scientific presentations in front of any size audience. “I always respond saying that it’s because I use to do theater for many years. However, without the Muny, I would’ve likely never become involved in theater. So in a way, I really have the Muny to thank. Thank you for celebrating the arts and truly inspiring me to dream big.”
Karen Bellister‘s grandfather was a violinist in the orchestra when The Muny Opera first started. Now she takes her daughter to a couple of Muny shows, even though they live in California. “We never miss a summer at The Muny! Thank you for being a big part of our family!”
Janet Kahre‘s first Muny show was “Cinderella” when her daughters were 4 and 6 years old. Shortly after that, they moved an hour away. But every week in the summer, they meet for the Muny and catch up. “The girls are 21 and 19 now, and thanks to Muny summer nights, always friends!” she beams.