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The Muny, A St. Louis Tradition
July 23, 2012
By: Jen Cooper
The city of St. Louis has a lot to offer in terms of special experiences and attractions. Whether just visiting the Gateway City or a lifelong resident there are always new and exciting things to enjoy. The Muny is nestled in Forest Park surrounded by other attractions. This 11,000 seat outdoor theater has been a St. Louis tradition since 1919. Over 20 families with a child with Down syndrome not only got to experience a wonderful performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat but they also got a special glimpse behind the scenes.
On July 23rd, 2012, the Pujols Family Foundation partnered with the Muny to host 60 members of the Foundation for a memorable evening of theater. The families gathered at the entrance waiting with anticipation for the evening to begin. As tour guides approached the large group, they were divided into two smaller groups for the upcoming tour. They were led through the empty theater that would soon be filled with an eager audience. The sound booth was highlighted as the group was then led to the backstage area where Muny employees were hard at work preparing for that evening’s show. As the group was ushered onto the Muny stage, the sets and props were in place for Joseph but back stage it was clear that tonight’s show was not the only thing on the mind of the staff. Set pieces, props and costumes for next week’s performance of Pirates were all about. Although photography is not allowed on the tour, the guide allowed for a group photo on the stage!
As the tour officially drew to a close, the group was escorted to the West Pavilion where they enjoyed dinner unaware of the special pre-show performance that they were about to see. The Muny Teens comprised of about 20 talented local singers and dancers performed a medley of songs featured in the seven Muny shows being featured in the 2012 season. The enthusiasm of the performance primed the already excited group for the upcoming show.
As showtime was fast approaching, the families made their way to the seats. Fans of American Idol’s first season were in for a treat as second place finisher Justin Guarini starred in the title role of Joseph. The hometown spin added to the show left a buzz through the audience that this was one of their favorite renditions of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Families raved over the experience that they were able to share with their children. “We have wanted to offer activities and events to the Down syndrome community in St. Louis that honors the city’s rich tradition. With the wonderful and generous support of the Muny, we have been able to make that possible,” shared PFF Program Manager Jen Cooper. Despite the triple digit temperatures, it was clear at the end of the night that everyone involved left Forest Park eager for the opportunity to return to this St. Louis tradition in the future.