Interview: The Muny President and CEO Kwofe Coleman Says 'We Are Bringing Concerts Back to The Muny Stage'

John Legend and The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to Perform Together on September 7, 2024 at The Muny in St. Louis

By: May. 15, 2024
Interview: The Muny President and CEO Kwofe Coleman Says 'We Are Bringing Concerts Back to The Muny Stage'
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The Muny in St. Louis announced today that they are bringing concerts back to their stage in Forest Park. In an interview with Broadway World, Muny president and CEO, Kwofe Coleman, shared that on September 7, 2024, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Winner John Legend will take the stage in Forest Park with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO.)  

Coleman said, “Long before I joined The Muny, concerts were a part of the tradition here. When I started in this position our audience asked when we were going to bring concert acts back to our stage.” He told BroadwayWorld how the audience had great experiences that created lasting memories seeing artists like Whitney Houton here. “We saw this opportunity to fulfill that part of our relationship with the St. Louis community,” Coleman shared. He said that concerts will always be secondary to the musical theatre productions, but these types of shows are also part of what makes this a gathering place for the people here.Interview: The Muny President and CEO Kwofe Coleman Says 'We Are Bringing Concerts Back to The Muny Stage'  

John Legend: A NIGHT OF SONGS AND STORIES WITH THE ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is a one-night-only event on The Muny's James S. McDonnell Stage. This will be Legend’s first time working with the world-class St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The once-in-a-lifetime performance will feature intimate reimaginings of Legend’s greatest hits woven with unexpected stories about his life and career.  

Legend is the first African American man and second youngest artist to achieve EGOT Status. An EGOT is an artist who has been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award for work in Television, Recording, Film, and Theatre. He is the recipient of 12 Grammy Awards, was honored with an Emmy as producer of NBC’s live performance of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, a Best Original Song Academy Award for "Glory" from the movie Selma, and a Tony Award for producing the revival of August Wilson’s JITNEY in 2017.  

When asked about how The Muny landed John Legend for a concert, Coleman credited The Muny’s collaboration with World Wide Technology Raceway and their work building the music festival for the NASCAR events. He said, “that has allowed us to learn the process and successfully produce concerts on our own.” He spoke of the knowledge gained from putting those shows together and mentioned that the symphony has also been a part of the music festival at the track.  

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and is celebrating its 145th season in 2024. The Muny will be collaborating with the SLSO twice this season. Coleman told Broadway World, “St. Louis has a very lively arts landscape, and we are thrilled to collaborate with the symphony.” He continued, “Having John Legend on our stage would be an unforgettable show, but adding the symphony to fill our space gives the people of St. Louis more than they could ever imagine seeing anywhere else.” In addition to the symphony performing with Legend, 20 members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus will join the company of Les Misérables for the season’s opening production.  

Coleman said he hopes this can be a proof of concept for future events on The Muny stage to add to their full seasons of musical productions. “I personally think concerts are a great way to create more opportunities for The Muny as a gathering space for the people of our community,” he said. Coleman spoke of his hopes that this is the beginning of the next chapter to add to the tradition of concerts on the stage.  

The Muny will offer tickets for their ‘free seats’ for the John Legend show. Coleman said, “The process for this show is still to be determined because we want it to be fair, equitable, and safe.” He is confident that this will be a very popular event and said the Muny will develop a process to give everyone a fair chance to vie for the free tickets.  

Tickets for John Legend: A NIGHT OF SONGS AND STORIES WITH THE ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. CT on May 20th. Click the link below for more information.   


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