We Got Nothing to Hit But the Heights

It's always been important to me not only to promote New Line and our work, but also the art form itself, and the rest of the St. Louis theatre scene. We keep pages on our website listing all the theatre companies in town, and all the upcoming productions of musicals in town.

It's no secret that St. Louis loves its musicals. How many of us grew up on The Muny? But it still impresses me each season when I update our list and see how many musicals get produced here, and what a wide variety of work we get to see, everything from Anything Goes to American Idiot. And there aren't many duplicates...

July 17-Aug. 16 – Anything Goes, Stages St. Louis
August 6-22 – Spellbound!, Stray Dog Theatre
August 10-16 – Oklahoma!, The Muny
Aug. 28-Sept. 5 – Singin' in the Rain, Next Generation Theatre Co.
Sept. 3-6 – Chicago, Curtain's Up Theater Co.
Sept. 4-Oct. 4 – The Full Monty, Stages St. Louis
Sept.; 11-20 – Footloose, KTK Productions
Sept., 18-27 – Guys and Dolls, Monroe Actors Stage Company
Sept. 25-Oct. 4 – Oliver!, Alpha Players
Sept. 30-Oct. 11 – Dogfight, Webster Conservatory
Oct. 1-24 – Heathers, New Line Theatre
Oct. 8-24 – Dogfight, Stray Dog Theatre
October 9-18 – Company, Washington University
October 15-18 – The Addams Family, Alfresco Productions
Oct. 21-Nov. 1 – Matilda, Fox Theatre
Oct. 23-31 – Spring Awakening, Take Two Productions
Oct. 29-31 – Legally Blonde, Lindenwood University
Nov. 6-8 – Mamma Mia!, Fox Theatre
Nov. 6-15 – Urinetown, Act Two Theatre
Nov. 6-15 – Nunsense, Hawthorne Players
Nov. 12-15 – Footloose, Missouri Baptist University
Nov. 17-22 – White Christmas, Fox Theatre
Dec. 4-6 – Nuncrackers, Alfresco Productions
Dec. 9-Jan. 3 – Wicked, Fox Theatre
Dec. 26-27 – Elf, Peabody Opera House
Jan. 19-31 – Newsies, Fox Theatre
Jan. 20-Feb. 7 – Georama, Rep Studio
Jan. 28-Feb. 7 – Avenue Q, Looking Glass Playhouse
Jan. 30 – Million Dollar Quartet, Peabody Opera House
Feb. 19-27 – Violet, Lindenwood University
Feb. 19-28 – James Joyce's The Dead, St. Louis University
Feb. 23-Mar. 6 – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Fox Theatre
March 3-6 – Cotton Patch Gospel, Missouri Baptist University
March 3-26 – American Idiot, New Line Theatre
March 11-13 – Beauty and the Beast, Fox Theatre
March 15-27 – If/Then, Fox Theatre
March 19-20 – A Night with Janis Joplin, Peabody Opera House
March 31-April 16 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Stray Dog Theatre
April 5-17 – The Bridges of Madison County, Fox Theatre
April 7 – Joseph / Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Scheidegger Center
April 18-19 – Ragtime, Peabody Opera House
April 20-24 – The Pajama Game, Webster Conservatory
April 26-May 8 – The Sound of Music, Fox Theatre
April 29-May 8 – The Addams Family, Kirkwood Theatre Guild
May 5 – Bullets Over Broadway, Peabody Opera House
May 5-15 – Fiddler on the Roof, Looking Glass Playhouse
May 8-22 – Jersey Boys, Fox Theatre
June 2-25 – Atomic, New Line Theatre
July 26-31 – The Addams Family, Center Stage Theatre
Aug. 4-20, 2016 – Bat Boy, Stray Dog Theatre
Aug. 11-27, 2016 – Tell Me on a Sunday, New Line Theatre

And remember, this is only the musicals...! It comes out to an average of four musicals per month. And that doesn't even include next summer's Muny and Stages seasons, which haven't been announced yet. And it doesn't include the many musicals produced by high schools and church groups.

When we first started keeping this list on our website more than ten years ago, the list wasn't this long. Our theatre community is so much more vibrant and adventurous today than when New Line was founded in the early 90s.

It's a fun list to unpack. There are many classics here, including Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, The Pajama Game, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music; quite a few "newer classics," including Wicked, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Ragtime, Avenue Q; but also some new shows, including Heathers, Atomic, If/Then, The Bridges of Madison County, Georama, and Spellbound. Notice that there are only two Rodgers & Hammerstein shows on the list (and really, one of them actually closes this past season), although the Muny hasn't announced their 2016 schedule yet. Last year, there were also only two R&H shows on the list. We're making progress...

St. Louis is getting two world premiere musicals this season, Spellbound and Georama, but also many shows that have never played or been produced in St. Louis before, including the American regional premiere of the off Broadway rock musical Atomic, in its first production in the country since its New York run.

Also, other local companies are starting to mine the New Line repertoire. Three shows New Line has produced are returning in productions by other companies this season, Urinetown, Bat Boy, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. There are also some pretty obscure shows most of us thought we'd never see, including James Joyce's The Dead, Dogfight, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's one-act Tell Me on a Sunday.

I see only two pairs of dupes, Dogfight (the two productions actually overlap) and The Addams Family.

The St. Louis metro region now has two big active touring houses, the Fox and the Peabody; along with full musical theatre seasons from the Muny, Stages, and New Line; and and other musicals from both the professional and community theatre groups in town, as well as Webster Conservatory and the other college theatre programs.

Pretty much every weekend from now through next August, St. Louis offers you as much musical theatre as you can take. And that's awesome.

The musical theatre is in a new Golden Age, and so is the St. Louis theatre scene.

Long Live the (St. Louis) Musical!