This isn’t your usual stamping post, but I’m sure you creative types could take some artistic inspiration from Hello, Dolly! if you would like! While in St. Louis to visit family last week, we made pretty much a last minute decision to go to the Muny, an outdoor theater in Forest Park, to see Hello, Dolly! The Muny Opera is a summer treat for everyone in St. Louis. When I was in high school, I would meet a friend at a mall close to my house and we would ride the special Muny bus and watch a show. The last time I went was when I was dating my husband and thought an ultimate date would be to dress up to go to the Muny! I probably insisted he wear a suit and I know I wore a long dress I had made myself, back in the day when my friends and I sewed a lot of our own clothes. I remember it being so stifling hot and the fans only ran before and after the show and during intermission! Not a good night to be “dressed up” at the Muny! They even have free seats way in the back, if you want to get there early enough to snag one and have a good pair of binoculars!
My husband, his sister and her husband decided we would all go, especially after talking to my cousin who said it was one of the best shows she had seen. We bought tickets, stopped for dinner on the way, and arrived at the Muny with a couple of umbrellas and jackets “just in case” (although everyone knows that the best way to prevent rain is to take an umbrella!). It was cloudy and the temperature almost cool with the fans blowing and, the show started. After a little while, a few stray raindrops started falling and then more, and I pulled my jacket up over my head. Finally they stopped the show, saying they needed to dry the stage so the dancers would not get injured. In a few minutes, the rain stopped, we walked back to our seats from the side under a roof and the show restarted. It wasn’t too long until the sprinkles started again, and again they stopped the show, announced that the Weather Service said the rain would be out of the area in 10 minutes, they dried the stage and we took our seats again. My sister-in-law kept grabbing paper towels to dry off our seats each time we returned. As it turned out, it was nearly time for intermission, so again the show stopped because they had to “reset the stage” for the second half but they cut intermission short.
Great! Now we could finally watch the rest of the show! Just as they got to the big number where Dolly walks down the grand staircase during the “Hello, Dolly!” song, a few little raindrops began falling. Nobody moved,even as the rain continued to fall and the cast kept singing and dancing! I think they were determined to get through that big number no matter what and sang and danced their hearts out, even walking out on this narrow portion of the stage closer to the audience. By then it was pouring, but the audience stayed to watch and cheered them on and applauded. This time they had to call the show, but I think everyone in attendance had enjoyed the show so much up to that point and appreciated the effort of all the performers (there were umbrellas up in the orchestra pit!) that no one was upset that we didn’t get to see the rest of the show. I don’t think I’d ever been to the Muny when it got rained out so this was a first for me! I read later that the local marching band in the show, the O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers, stayed and played for the people exiting out the front of the theater, but we were parked in back. I was glad I had gotten to see them in the show earlier, though. It also got rained out the next night, so hopefully they will get in the last show of the season tonight!
I’m sure I will remember the rainy night at the Muny seeing Hello, Dolly! for a long time! You can even go to THIS LINK to view the Muny website and scroll down to see the audience full of umbrellas. If you are in St. Louis in the summer time, you might like to put seeing a show at The Muny on your itinerary! It’s a St. Louis institution!