Best Of 2014

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests: The Muny in Forest Park

Live in St. Louis long enough and you'll make repeated references to high schools, goofy accents and Sammy Hagar, all of which can make outsiders feel a little bit isolated. OK, irritated. So when guests visit over the summer, take 'em to the Muny, the country's best outdoor musical theater, St. Louis' biggest source of civic pride and a place that will inspire nothing but love for the Lou. Get there early, throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic in a fully blooming Forest Park. Sure, it's 96 degrees with astronomical humidity, but that won't stop you from cracking open a bottle of red wine. You're a St. Louisan, dammit, and temps like this roll right off your back (like so many beads of sweat). Wind your way through the park's quaint paths and bridges, and find your seat as twilight settles over the theater. As your guests start to cool themselves with their programs, you'll think, "You shoulda been here before these new fans were installed." You'll mention how a neighbor's son is one of the Muny Kids in the chorus tonight. You'll try to explain the thunderous applause and overwhelming love you feel when Ken Page strides onstage. You'll buy everyone a round of Ronnie's "Rocky Mountain" ice-cream drumsticks during intermission. And if somehow, after all of that, your guests aren't as smitten with St. Louis as you are, just put 'em on the next bus back to Chicago, because surely, that must be where they're from.

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