If you ever wondered how The Muny decided on what show’s they will be doing in an upcoming season, or what shows Muny Executive Producer Mike Isaacson felt motivated to present in Forest Park or on Broadway, the answer is fairly basic.
Photo courtesy of The Muny
“For me, it’s sort of an intuitive reaction,” says Isaacson. “Why should this story be told. There are always a lot of things that are possible, but what is the core of an idea or reason that I gravitate toward this story. It’s all very eclectic for me. I don’t respond to formula. I want shows to be compelling. I want people to feel like they want to be in the seats and be part of what’s happening on stage. Good theater sells. If you just worry about commercialism, you’re dead. The hardest part is getting the show wonderful and right. I’m a pretty good kind of general audience kind of guy. If something makes my heart beat faster, that’s a sign that it probably will do that to other people will too.”
2018 will be The Muny’s 100th anniversary season. Isaacson feels The Muny has status that has grown with each and every year, and spread it’s reputation across the United States.
“In many ways, The Muny is seen as a valuable theater to further hone your talent and your craft. All of our casting gets immediate attention all over all the Broadway websites: Playbill, Broadway World, Theater Mania, literally all our casting gets national theatrical attention. It’s really a huge tribute to this institution and our audiences. This is our 99th season. People are blown away by that. This scale, this kind of work, it doesn’t exist anywhere else in the Country.”
Isaacson intimated that part of the theme for the 100th anniversary season will be celebrating the unique place that the St. Louis community has created and nurtured and maintained and celebrated and made a part of their lives. He feels what The Muny does is all about honoring the relationship with their audiences.
“Our numbers are such,” Isaacson detailed, “that a couple of things are happening. Those people who sort of strayed away are coming back. For many of the shows, we’re picking up a younger demographic, but the core of The Muny remains. Our audiences have told us that they’re really excited by and want ambition in our productions, and they like it when they see us stretching ourselves. When they feel we’re giving them everything we’ve got, that’s returned 10-fold. And that’s really moving.”
Click on the link below for information on the upcoming season that begins June 12th with “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Single tickets went on sales about a month early this year because of demand. Look for some surprises in the shows this season, as The Muny does its usual stretching, this time all the way to it 100th season.
And during that 100th season, look for national recognition of The Muny like it has never seen before.