Missouri's Muny Theatre, America's largest and oldest outdoor music theatre (seating 12,000), continues its 80th season with Bye Bye Birdie, a spoof on the Elvis Presley rock era that shows Conrad Birdie rocking small-town America en route to the draft board. Tunes include "Put on a Happy Face" and "A Lotta Living To Do." (June 22-28) Lee Roy Reams, soon to be on Broadway in An Evening With Jerry Herman, stars as Conrad's stressed-out manager, alongside Mary Gordon Murray, Jeb Brown and Amy Eidelman (as Kim).
As for the rest of the Muny summer season, after a dark week, The Radio City Rockettes will step in July 6-12, with a variety show featuring special guests Maureen Brennan, Eric Kunze and Ken Page (The Wizard Of Oz).
Peter Pan -- Based on J.M. Barrie's novel and play, the story of a magical boy who leads a family's children to Never-Never Land. This touring production, on its way to NY, stars Cathy Rigby. (July 13-19).
Fiddler On The Roof - One of the great American musicals, Fiddler is based on Sholom Aleichem's stories of a Russian-Jewish milkman, his nagging wife, and his five rebellious daughters. Songs include "Sunrise Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man." Theodore Bikel stars as Tevye (July 20 26).
Crazy For You, Ken Ludwig's Gershwin-based musical. Bruce Adler plays Zangler, a role that earned him a Tony nomination. James Walton plays Bobby Child, June Squibb plays Bobby's mother (the Jane Connell role). (July 27-Aug. 2). Damn Yankees -- Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets in this supernatural musical comedy about a middle-aged man who risks his very soul to see his home team beat the New York Yankees. Joel Higgins (TV's "Silver Spoons," Shenandoah, Fields of Ambrosia) plays Applegate. (Aug. 3-9)
According to Muny spokesperson Laura Peters, most of the Muny's subscribers are from St. Louis and the surrounding areas. Many come from Illinois and some are from as far away as Michigan. Peters said, "Some people like to come for the weekend, some make it a day trip. You can spend a whole day in the park and not spend a single penny." Each night, 1456 free seats are available to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lineup usually begins around 4:30, and the gate opens at 7 PM.
Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale. For more information, call (314) 361-1900.