ST. LOUIS — It looks like we won't be meeting at the Muny this summer.
The Muny has announced that it will be suspending its season for the first time in 102 years of operation. The 2020 season lineup will be pushed back until the summer of 2021.
Muny organizers were previously looking into opening in July, but ultimately decided against it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a historic first, and hopefully last, for our beloved theatre,” said Muny Board Chair Louis A. Cella in a press release. “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.”
Current season ticket holders will be contacted with more information about their options and next steps. They'll have the option to convert the money they spent to a donation, said Muny Managing Director Kwofe Coleman in an interview with 5 On Your Side.
"We are a nonprofit institution. We're looking at a $4 million-plus deficit by postponing the season. So we ask them about the option to convert. We maintain our investment and convert that to a donation," he said.
"They can credit all or some of their funds to their season tickets for the 2021 season or they can request to refund. And you know we'll honor any or all or any combination of that."
Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson said the decision was painful but it was the right choice.
“We are all heartbroken, but this is the right decision for our community and everyone on and backstage in our Muny family. 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.”
The Muny said it will be broadcasting five installments of its off-season cabaret Muny Magic at The Sheldon for five consecutive Mondays beginning June 15, the originally scheduled season opening date.
The lineup will be announced soon and will include Beth Leavel's series premiere performance from 2015.
It will also produce special online performances beginning July 20. More information will be released at a later date.
“We hope this virtual alternative programming will showcase how even when our audience isn’t in our seats, they are in our hearts,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer, Mike Isaacson.
The Muny's physical box office is not open, but those who would like to get in contact with office staff can email firstname.lastname@example.org.