The unfortunate news that Muny enthusiasts had hoped they would not hear came down Monday morning: there will be no 2020 season.
“Summer without The Muny in St. Louis is indeed a sad moment,” said STLSportsPage.com Travel/Food Editor, Suzanne Corbett, who attends most productions and has been a long-time volunteer. “Who would have thought it could have ever happened. After all, The Muny has always been there for us. Lifting our spirts through the tough times – the Great Depression, two World Wars to the challenges we all face today. ”
In a press release the Muny said, “After evaluating every aspect of our operation in relation to our audience, staff, cast, crew and community, and with careful and ongoing consideration for all information and guidance available regarding the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone our 2020 season lineup until the summer of 2021.”
“This is a historic first, and hopefully last, for our beloved theatre,” said Muny Board Chair, Louis A. Cella. “Every member of the organization was hopeful and working on every possible option up until the moment we had to make this difficult decision. The sad reality is that there is simply no way to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has presented while ensuring the safety of our audience, staff, artists and community.”
Muny President and CEO Denny Reagan is also disappointed about the decision.
“From the beginning, our hope was that conditions would improve enough in time for us to continue the 102-year-old tradition of gathering to celebrate community and theatre at The Muny,” said Reagan. “Coming together every summer is more than entertainment – it’s a reunion, a celebration and a tradition. To miss that for the first time in 102 years is tremendously difficult and disheartening.”
In lieu of the originally announced 2020 season lineup, a complete schedule of virtual alternative programming will be announced soon. This lineup will include digital broadcasts of past Muny Magic at The Sheldon performances beginning June 15, and a new series featuring Muny friends and family from around the world beginning July 20.
“We are all heartbroken, but this is the right decision for our community and everyone on and backstage in our Muny family,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer, Mike Isaacson. “For 102 years, The Muny has provided St. Louisans with amazing entertainment and joyous memories, and even though we cannot be together in Forest Park this summer, we are committed to continuing this summer tradition for our audience.”
Current season ticket holders will be contacted personally with more information regarding their options and next steps.
Keeping the health of our staff and community a top priority, walk-up service to The Muny Box Office in Forest Park, shown in photo left, is currently unavailable. However, box office staff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The press release concluded with, “We are sad to share this news. However, we can’t wait to ‘Meet you at The Muny’ next summer for an unforgettable, overdue homecoming. Stay safe and please stay connected virtually by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive the latest updates.”
Suzanne Corbett is also sad to see the Muny cancel the 2020 season because she feels it is what our area needs right now.
“The Muny has been there to bring us together,” said Corbett. “To make us happy and to help St. Louis celebrate all that is good. As far as I’m concerned that won’t change. So, to get me through until next year, instead calling it a canceled season I’ll consider this an intermission.”