Fans will be over the rainbow as “The Wizard of Oz” opens the Muny’s 98th season Monday, with a run through June 22 in Forest Park.
This lavish musical is a reminder that come summer, there’s no place like the Muny for Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow — and Toto, too.
The stage production based on Frank Baum’s book, as well as the 1939 MGM classic movie, was commissioned for the Muny and first performed there in 1942. Ten revivals over the decades have featured Margaret Hamilton, Cass Daley, Mary Wickes and Phyllis Diller as the Wicked Witch of the West. Cathy Rigby also has played Dorothy on the outdoor St. Louis stage. It was last seen at the Muny a decade ago.
The cast includes Danielle Bowen (Dorothy), Kevin Cahoon (Hunk/Scarecrow), Nicholas Rodriguez (Hickory/The Tin Man) and Stephen Wallem (Zeke/The Cowardly Lion). Veteran actor PJ Benjamin (Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz), got his start at the Little Theater in Sullivan, Ill. He was the Wizard in “Wicked” on Broadway and on tour for seven years.
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Celebrating everything Oz, The Muny has done some outdoor decorating offstage:
Six banners with images of the history of Oz are on display in the entryways east and west of the Theatre Drive entrance.
As people enter the theater, pillars are wrapped in yellow brick.
Special pre-performance events:
On the west platform at 6:45 p.m. will be displays of Oz memorabilia.
At Lichtenstein Plaza, located directly behind the free seats at the top side of the theatre, enjoy free performances and activities from 7 to 7:45 p.m.
At 7:15 p.m., enjoy a 20-minute presentation by author and Oz expert John Fricke based on his recent book “The Wonderful World of Oz — An Illustrated History of the American Classic.”
For ticket information, go to muny.org. To purchase season tickets call The Muny box office, 314-361-1900 ext. 550.
- “The Wizard of Oz (June 13 - 22)
- “42nd Street” (June 24 - 30)
- “The Music Man” (July 5 - 11)
- “Young Frankenstein” (July 13 - 19)
- “Mamma Mia!” (July 21 - July 28)
- “Fiddler on the Roof” (July 30 - Aug. 5)
- “Aida” (Aug. 8 - 14)