Families that enjoy filling those long summer nights with music, dance and drama will find plenty to do in St. Louis. Whether you're looking for tears or laughs, a performance that will capture the attention of young children or one for teens, music under the stars or the opulence of a night at the theater, the local art scene has something for everyone, so check out these best bets for summer shows in St. Louis.
The Muny: The Muny, America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater, offers a variety of shows throughout the summer in Forest Park. Families with young children will want to catch "Shrek the Musical," Monday, June 24, through Sunday, June 30, while teens will enjoy "Les Miserables," Monday, July 15 through Sunday, July 21. All ages will love "Mary Poppins," July 25 through Aug. 2. This season, The Muny debuts a new feature that's sure to be a smash hit with audiences: large fans that increase air circulation without noise interference. Tickets start at $12 and shows begin at 8:15 p.m. The Muny is located at 1 Theatre Drive, St. Louis, Mo., 63112. Call 314-361-1900 or visit muny.org.
Stages St. Louis: A beloved fairy tale will take center stage when "Disney's Cinderella" comes to Stages Wednesday, June 19, through Sunday, June 30, and 'tweens and teens will love watching the sassy Elle attempt to prove her legal savvy in "Legally Blonde, the Musical," Friday, July 19 through Sunday, Aug. 18. Tickets start at $16. The Robert G. Reim Theater is located at the Kirkwood Civic Center, 111 S. Geyer Rd., Kirkwood, Mo., 63122. Call 314-821-2407 or visit stagesstlouis.org.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre: For an elegant night out on the town, catch the U.S. Bank Broadway Series presentation of Cole Porter's musical comedy "Anything Goes" Wednesday, May 29, through Sunday, June 9, at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Tickets start at $15. The Fabulous Fox is located at 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., 63103. Call 314-534-1678 or visit fabulousfox.com.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis: For swashbuckling comedy and adventure see the Gilbert and Sullivan classic "The Pirates of Penzance," presented by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, May 25, 29, and 31, and June 6, 9, 12, 14, 22, 26 and 29. Opera Theatre performances are held at the Loretto-Hilton Center, located at 130 Edgar Road, St. Louis, Mo., 63119. Call 314-961-0644 or visit opera-stl.org.
St. Louis Symphony: Children and teens will be inspired when they watch their peers perform in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Powell Hall. Tickets are free, though a $1 processing fee applies. Powell Hall is located at 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63103. Call 314-534-1700 or visit stlsymphony.org.
Shakespeare Festival: See the Shakespeare Festival's production of "Twelfth Night" at 8 p.m. nightly (except Tuesdays) Friday, May 24, through Sunday, June 16, in Forest Park. Families that would like to introduce children to Shakespeare but aren't able to sit through a full performance are invited to the Green Show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes musicians, jugglers, artisans and a 20-minute adaption of the main show. Admission to the festival is free. The Shakespeare Festival is held in Shakespeare Glen on the east side of Art Hill. Call 314-531-9800 or visit sfstl.com.
Alton Riverfront Amphitheater: For the sounds of summer, catch "Changes in Latitude- A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett" at the $5 Fridays Summer Concert Series at 6 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the Alton Riverfront Amphitheater. The amphitheater is located at 1 Riverfront Dr., Alton, IL, 62002. Call 618-463-3580 or visit riverfrontamphitheater.com.
COCA: Audiences of all ages will enjoy escaping to Wonderland with "Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr.," COCA's Youth Summer Musical, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21. Audiences 12 and up will enjoy the COCA Summer Musical production of the award-winning "In The Heights," which explores the lives of three characters living in the Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. "In the Heights" will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20. COCA is located at 524 Trinity Ave., St. Louis, Mo., 63130. Call 314-725-6555 or visit cocastl.org.
Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center: Those looking for a night at the ballet — or contemporary or tap — will enjoy the Sixth Annual Emerson Spring to Dance Festival at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 23, through Saturday, May 25, at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, located at 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, 63121. Spring to Dance features performances by 30 dance companies, including the Saint Louis Ballet, the Kansas City Ballet, the Big Muddy Dance Co., Chicago Tap Theatre and more. Tickets are $15 per night. Call 314-534-6622 or visit dancestlouis.org.
Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.