Muny Announces Record-Breaking Streaming Totals for First-Ever Online Season

ST. LOUIS (August 24, 2020) — A first in The Muny’s 102-year history, estimated attendance totals have been announced for the online 102nd Season. With highlights ranging from never-before-aired Muny Magic at The Sheldon concerts to the creation of a new, critically-acclaimed series, The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live!, The Muny’s one-of-a-kind, free online endeavor was packed with unforgettable performances by Muny artists across the U.S. and unique surprises.


Throughout their online season, The Muny was also able to employ several members of its typical summer staff, including trades people, performers, artists and musicians.

“While this season was anything but ordinary, the support from our viewers has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Muny President and CEO, Denny Reagan. “They took this leap of faith and trusted us to deliver their Muny summer onscreen instead of onstage. We will always be thankful for their unwavering support and for the work of all the people who came together to make this happen. On behalf of the entire Muny family, we can’t wait to meet everyone back at The Muny next summer.”

“I am so grateful to everyone in the Muny family who worked on and created these 10 streams,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer, Mike Isaacson. “It was a remarkable collaboration in so many ways, and in this really challenging time, these shows allowed us to create, to celebrate and to be together. We’re all very grateful.”

With viewers from 22 countries, the total estimated attendance for the free 10-show summer season: 189,582. This number represents a record-breaking first in The Muny’s live-streaming history, and is an aggregated estimate based on YouTube analytics.

102nd Season show-by-show recap:

Beth Leavel
Sponsored by World Wide Technology

In the most-streamed performance in the Muny Magic in Your Home series, Tony Award winner, Broadway and Muny favorite Beth Leavel opened the 102nd online season with a powerhouse performance. Showcasing her supreme talents, Leavel dazzled with a selection of Broadway melodies, a duet with Tony nominee Lara Teeter and a finale that featured the O’Fallon, Illinois, Township High School marching band.

Beth’s Muny credits include: inaugural Muny Magic at The Sheldon featured artist (2015), Mama Rose in Gypsy (2018), Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! (2015); Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! (2014); Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense: Muny Style! (2013); Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie (2012), Miss Hannigan in Annie (2009), Vera Charles in Mame (2005), Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street (2004) and Betty Rizzo in Grease (1988). She has also served as an understudy for some of the greatest Muny leading ladies in 1983: Judy Kaye in Can-Can; Lucie Arnaz in I Do! I Do!; Lynn Redgrave in The King and I and Susan Powell in Promises, Promises.

A Night with The Buddy Holly Boys
Sponsored by Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, Drury Hotels, Safety National and Welsch Heating and Cooling Company

After starring as Buddy and the Crickets in The Muny’s 2015 summer blockbuster Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Andy Christopher, Joe Cosmo Cogen, Kyle Lacy and Nathan Yates Douglass gave an electrifying performance in the most popular in-person Muny Magic at The Sheldon to-date.

Our Leading Ladies
Sponsored by Augusta Winery and Montelle Winery

Danielle Bowen (Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, 2016), Ali Ewoldt (Martha Jefferson in 1776, 2019; Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 2017; Maria in West Side Story, 2013), Stephanie Gibson (Gabrielle in Cinderella, 2019; Inga in Young Frankenstein, 2016; Gertie Cummings in Oklahoma!, 2007) and Elena Shaddow (Marian in The Music Man, 2016; Cinderella in Into the Woods, 2015) gave heart-stirring tributes to leading ladies of past Muny seasons, including Ethel Merman, Shirley Jones and Bernadette Peters.

Our Leading Men
Sponsored by Centene Charitable Foundation

Ben Davis (John Dickinson in 1776, 2019; Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, 2019; Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2017; Curly in Oklahoma!, 2015; Emile de Becque in South Pacific, 2013; Galahad in Spamalot, 2013), Davis Gaines (Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, 2017), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Jack Kelly in Newsies, 2017; Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, 2016; Barnaby Tucker in Hello, Dolly!, 2014) and Mykal Kilgore (Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar, 2017) celebrated iconic leading men from past Muny seasons.

Mikaela Bennett and Alex Prakken
Sponsored by Emerson

Muny newcomer Mikaela Bennett (Ella in Cinderella, 2019) and St. Louis native, and former Muny Kid and Teen, Alex Prakken (Courier in 1776, 2019; Marius in Les Misérables, 2013) took audiences on an enchanted journey through the great musical theatre songbook.

The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! E1
Sponsored by U.S. Bank

In the inaugural installment, this episode featured: scenes from The Muny’s vault productions of Disney’s The Little MermaidSingin’ in the RainThe Wiz and The Music Man, “We Go Together” from Grease, performed by The Colby Dezelick Dancers, Muny artists and real-life couple Jennifer Cody and Hunter Foster performing “The Doctor Is In” from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; members of The Muny’s 2019 cast of Paint Your Wagon singing the rousing “How Can I Wait?”, Broadway and Muny veteran Lara Teeter dancing through The Muny in “Take Me Away,” The Muny Kids singing “Happiness” from You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; a live vocal performance from Broadway and The Muny’s Ken Page, singing “Memory” from Cats, Broadway and Muny star Ashley Brown performing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music, behind-the-scenes stories about what’s happening at The Muny, and Munywood Squares – a Muny-themed gameshow hosted by Gordon Greenberg featuring nine hilarious Muny stars, including E. Faye Butler, J. Harrison Ghee, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee, Vicki Lewis, Steve Rosen, Jeffrey Schecter, John Scherer and Christopher Sieber.

The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! E2
Sponsored by Edward Jones

In the second installment, this episode featured: scenes from The Muny’s vault productions of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida42nd StreetSpamalot and Oklahoma!; Muny artists and real-life couple Maggie Lakis and Rob McClure performing “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors, a live vocal performance from Broadway and The Muny’s Taylor Louderman, singing “Astonishing” from Little Women, members of The Muny’s 2017 cast of Disney’s The Little Mermaid reuniting to sing “Under the Sea,” Muny veteran and St. Louis native Chloe O. Davis performing “My Tribute to Black Broadway and Black Choreographers: I Thrive Now Because You Dared Then.” Conceived and choreographed by Chloe O. Davis, the tribute featured choreography by Katherine Dunham, George Faison, Debbie Allen, Hope Clarke, Gregory Hines, Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones and Camille A. Brown. The program also featured “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This,” a modern take on the Sweet Charity classic, created and performed by Muny alumni Maya Bowles, Trevor Michael Schmidt and Gabi Stapula, a mashup performance by the Muny Teens singing “Bring on the Monsters/Drive It Like You Stole It” from The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical and Sing Street, respectively, Broadway, West End and Muny star Nkeki Obi-Melekwe performing “If You Knew My Story” from Bright Star, behind-the-scenes stories about what’s happening at The Muny, and Munywood Squares – a Muny-themed gameshow hosted by Gordon Greenberg featuring nine hilarious Muny stars, including E. Faye Butler, J. Harrison Ghee, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee, Vicki Lewis, Steve Rosen, Jeffrey Schecter, John Scherer and Christopher Sieber.

The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! E3
Principal Sponsor Missouri Lottery | Supporting Sponsor Pepsi

In the third installment, this episode featured: scenes from The Muny’s vault productions of All Shook UpLes MisérablesNewsies and South Pacific, Muny artists and real-life couple Beth Leavel and Adam Heller performing “You’ll Never Get Away From Me” from Gypsy, a live vocal performance from Broadway and The Muny’s Julie Hanson, singing “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera, members of The Muny’s 2018 cast of Annie reuniting to sing “Tomorrow,” “Bach to the Future,” an all-female tap number featuring Muny artists near and far, conceived and choreographed by Broadway and Muny alumna Marjorie Failoni, “undefeat,” a dance performance to “Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major” choreographed and performed by Hamilton original cast member and Muny veteran dancer and choreographer Jon Rua, a mashup performance by the Muny Teens singing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain/Not While I’m Around” from The Sound of Music and Sweeney Todd, respectively, Broadway and The Muny’s Michael James Scott performing “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” behind-the-scenes stories about what’s happening at The Muny, and Munywood Squares – a Muny-themed gameshow hosted by Gordon Greenberg featuring nine hilarious Muny stars, including E. Faye Butler, J. Harrison Ghee, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee, Vicki Lewis, Steve Rosen, Jeffrey Schecter, John Scherer and Christopher Sieber.

The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! E4
Sponsored by BMO Harris Bank

In the fourth installment, this episode featured: scenes from The Muny’s vault productions of Annie, selections from “West Side Story Suite” from Jerome Robbins’ BroadwayJersey Boys and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Muny artists and real-life couple Jason Gotay and Michael Hartung performing “Song on the Sand” from La Cage aux Folles, a live vocal performance from The Muny and NBC’s The Voice 2018 Top 4 Finalist Kennedy Holmes, singing “Children Will Listen” from Into the Woods, members of The Muny’s 2018 cast of Meet Me In St. Louis reuniting to sing the title number “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “Tap Your Troubles Away,” an old-fashioned tap number conceived and choreographed by The Muny’s Resident and Teen Choreographer Katie Johannigman, performed remotely by Muny artists of the last decade, “Speechless,” a contemporary dance piece directed and choreographed by St. Louis native, Broadway performer and Muny alumnus, Jack Sippel, performed by local Muny Teen alums, The Muny Teens singing “It Roars” from Mean Girls, “Do-Re-Mi,” a special, filmed-at-The-Muny song and dance performance featuring members of The Muny Kids and Teens, Broadway and Muny real-life couple Jenny Powers and Matt Cavenaugh singing “New Words” written by Maury Yeston, and behind-the-scenes stories about what’s happening at The Muny.

The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! E5
Principal Sponsor Ameren | Supporting Sponsor Tarlton

In the fifth and final installment, this episode featured: more scenes than ever “from the vaults” of The Muny’s productions of A Chorus LineRodgers & Hammerstein’s CinderellaGuys and DollsGypsyMeet Me In St. LouisThoroughly Modern Millie and The Muny Centennial Gala: An Evening with the Stars, Muny artists and real-life couple Erin Dilly and Stephen R. Buntrock performing “You and I” from Meet Me In St. Louis, a live vocal performance from former Muny and Teen, and two-time St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards Best Actress winner, Maggie Kuntz, singing “The Trolley Song” from Meet Me In St. Louis, “I Will Be Your Home,” a special video love letter to the behind-the-scenes Muny family, written and performed by Broadway and The Muny’s Colby Dezelick, “Broadway Melody,” a Broadway-style filmed-at-The-Muny dance piece from Singin’ in the Rain, conceived and choreographed by Broadway performer and St. Louis native Richard Riaz Yoder, “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” a high-energy, filmed-at-The-Muny dance spectacular directed and choreographed by St. Louis native, Broadway performer and Muny alumnus, Jack Sippel, performed by 19 Muny alums with vocals by Broadway and The Muny’s Nasia Thomas, a mashup performance by The Muny Kids singing “A Little More Homework/Come Alive” from 13 and The Greatest Showman, respectively, graduating Muny Teens performing “Our Time” from Merrily We Roll Along in a special senior sendoff, a series finale sing-along of “Auld Lang Syne” that honors a long-standing Muny closing night tradition, led by Broadway and The Muny’s Beth Malone, behind-the-scenes stories about what’s happening at The Muny, and Munywood Squares – a Muny-themed gameshow hosted by Gordon Greenberg featuring nine hilarious Muny stars, including E. Faye Butler, J. Harrison Ghee, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee, Vicki Lewis, Steve Rosen, Jeffrey Schecter, John Scherer and Christopher Sieber.

World Wide Technology (WWT) became the first overall season sponsor in the history of The Muny in 2014 and remained committed to this role with their leadership gift as The Muny’s 2020 Virtual Season Presenting Sponsor.

To stay connected virtually and to receive the latest updates, please follow The Muny on their social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.