Place Where You Live:

The Muny, St. Louis, Missouri

No Place Like Home

The Muny is a kaleidoscope of colors, literally. Every night as the sun sets and moon rises, the oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre in America floods with the diverse population of St. Louis. Roughly 11,000 people come together on a cool summer evening, the bright neon spotlights on the stage and the catchy tunes of popular musicals almost immediately captivates their attention. The vibrant pool of color in the audience is like a portrait made out of water pastels, all pinks and greens glistening in the rays of the sun. The familiar sound of people flipping through their pamphlets reminds me of my childhood here, bringing a sense of home and comfort. The smells of buttered popcorn and hotdogs linger in the air, and the fizz of soda caps being opened for the first time are loud enough to hear over background conversation. Staff wearing light blue polos and khaki pants welcome the guests with flashy smiles and gleaming eyes. The workers, who are camouflaged in midnight black, creep behind the homemade sets placed on the stage as they switch out props. As the sun is devoured beyond the horizon and the chirping of birds fade, the buzzing of bugs and crickets ignite. A light breeze is created by the tall fans that overhang on the ancy audience, giving the sense of a peaceful ocean gust.
The stage is cluttered with performers prancing around in flavorful costumes. Hopes and dreams come alive or die upon this wooden floor. This is a place where those, who were never bound to have such an exotic gift, acknowledge and recognize talent the second an actor’s foot strikes the stage. The Muny is filled with more beyond appearance of entertainment. It is where people are given their big break, and it is a home to all the union workers who invest much of their time and effort into making this environment magical. Those 11,000 people who enter every summer night are unaware that they are entering a home.