Every introductory theatre class teaches you about the ancient outdoor theaters of Greece and Rome. What they may not teach you is that the oldest and largest outdoor theater in America made its home in St. Louis, Missouri.
For nearly a century, the St. Louis Municipal Opera (better known as the Muny) has offered professionally-mounted Broadway musicals set on a stage that is framed by the beauty of Forest Park.
Every summer from mid-June to mid-August, the Muny hosts seven shows that are produced exclusively for Muny audiences. Many professional shows are produced with the intent to travel or be hosted in venues for longer periods of time. What is unique about shows at the Muny is that professional actors, dancers, directors, musicians, choreographers and set designers from all over the country travel to the Show-Me State to create a week-long production, with much support from local talent that doesn’t leave the Muny stage.
This massive amphitheatre seats 11,000 people, including 1,500 seats that are free to the public on a first-come-first-served basis for each performance. Grab a group of 15 of your closest friends to see the show at a discounted rate and enjoy a complimentary backstage tour where you learn more about the history of the Muny and get sneak peek at how the Muny magic is created.
You can also delight in a private catered dinner, enjoy a picnic or dine at the Muny’s on-site restaurant, the Culver Pavilion, before you settle in to enjoy the show. Located less than a mile from the Saint Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum, you can enjoy an entire day on a Missouri adventure with a grand finale of watching an exciting show underneath the stars.
Learn more about the Muny’s 98th season by visiting their website.
Though it is the oldest and largest, the Muny isn’t the only great outdoor theater in The Show-Me State. The Starlight Theater in Kansas City is home to some of the best Broadway musicals, concerts and unique theatrical shows in the heartland. The 10-story, 12,000-square-foot stage house is fully enclosed and climate-controlled.
Since 2000, Broadway shows have become a staple of the Starlight season. Here, you can also catch concerts from various music artists. To learn more about how you can enjoy an evening underneath the stars in KC, visit the Starlight’s website.