From New Line's "Passing Strange," 2011
Jill Ritter

When Scott Miller founded New Line Theatre in 1991 it was a risky proposition, in more ways than one.

The nonprofit would occupy a tight niche: musicals only. It would also ride the first wave of a national trend, producing work about topics avoided by many in polite St. Louis company: politics, violence, race, sexuality and religion.

Working on new chandelier from "Phantom"
Nancy Fowler

A new chandelier, updated special effects and a sense that the main characters have spent some time in a therapist’s chair: these are all changes included in Cameron Mackintosh's new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Courtesy the MUNY

The MUNY opened its 2014 season on Monday, June 16 with the first of seven scheduled shows. The offerings this summer include four premieres and the usual mix of classics, family shows and new productions.

Michael Isaacson, the MUNY’s artistic director and executive producer, appeared on Cityscape this week to give an overview of the season and talk about how the organization is gearing up for its 100th anniversary.

The MUNY’s 2014 season

Billy Elliot the Musical June 16 – 22

Joan Marcus / Courtesy Fox Theatre

The touring company of Broadway musical “Once” has made its way to St. Louis. As a musical based on a movie based on the music and life of Dublin musician Glenn Hansard, the show is not your average Broadway show.

For one, it begins by inviting the audience up on stage (for more on that read Nancy Fowler’s reflection on the show). For another, the cast doubles as the orchestra – no musicians sitting in a pit for this show.

The Fabulous Fox

Ever dreamed of appearing onstage at St. Louis’ Fox Theatre, basking in the lights, beaming at the audience – even once?

Thank you, Fox and the musical “Once” for helping me cross that off my bucket list. Through April 20, you, too, can stand in the very space where giants – including Nat “King” Cole, Mae West and Elizabeth Taylor – have planted their feet since 1929.

(Courtesy Retreat to Broadway)

St. Louis native Sarah Bolt, best known for her role as Sister Mary Patrick in the Broadway production of Sister Act, joins Broadway performer Kathy Deitch (Wicked, Footloose) and Emmy-nominated Irish tenor Michael Londra on stage in Kirkwood this Sunday.

They will be performing a combination of Broadway and holiday songs in a benefit for Retreat to Broadway, a new non-profit that offers "personal renewal" retreats that include live theater experiences.

Peter Wochniak

Legally Blonde, The Musical opens tonight at the Robert G. Reim Theatre, continuing Stages St. Louis' 27th season.

Michelle London plays Elle Woods, a southern California girl who decides to "get serious" and follow her college boyfriend to Harvard Law. Ben Nordstrom returned to St. Louis to play Emmett Forrest. They talked with host Steve Potter to discuss the judgments we make based on people's clothes, defying expectations and their roles in the musical.

Legally Blonde, The Musical opens tonight, Friday July 19 and runs through August 18, 2013.