The Missouri Historical Society introduces Threads: History Never Looked So Haute, a new biannual cocktail party and runway show that is a unique merger of history and fashion.
The inaugural Threads event will be held April 13, 2019, at the Missouri History Museum. Threads is a fundraiser to benefit the exhibitions, collections and programs of the Missouri Historical Society, a 501c(3) charitable organization.
For the inaugural Threads, The Missouri Historical Society has invited Project Runway alumni and local university fashion students to create haute couture designs that are inspired by items from the Missouri Historical Society’s textile collection. The designs will be debuted at the Threads runway show.
With more than 18,000 pieces of clothing and accessories, the Missouri Historical Society houses one of the most extensive textile collections in the country. Pieces in the collection date from the late 18th century to the present and include men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and household textiles.
Threads will begin with a pre-show cocktail party for VIP guests. All Threads guests will experience a unique history-inspired runway show, followed by a dessert reception. VIP tickets will be available for $500. General admission tickets will be available for $175. Tickets go on sale in March 2019.
After the Threads Runway Show, the new designs created by Project Runway stars and fashion students from local universities will be installed in an atrium show on the lower level of the Missouri History Museum. The Threads atrium show is free and open to the public April 13, 2019, through July 14, 2019.
Missouri History Museum Puts Spotlight on Muny Memories with “Behind-the-Scenes” Exhibit
ST. LOUIS, MO, (PRNewswire-USNewswire) – Celebrating its centennial season in 2019, the show has gone on at The Muny year after year. To commemorate this milestone, another Forest Park landmark is recreating 100 seasons of Muny magic. The Missouri History Museum is putting the spotlight on the oldest and largest continuously operating outdoor-theatre in the United States in Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage.
This 6,000-square-foot exhibit will examine the history of The Muny through approximately 130 artifacts, including 10 costumes and 87 props from favorite Muny shows. Muny memories come to life through interactive media, oral histories from Muny stars and staff, and opportunities to learn a dance step or two.
“Sharing the story of 100 seasons of Muny magic within the historical narrative of the St. Louis region presented quite a challenge,” said Sharon Smith, curator of civic and personal identity for the Missouri History Museum and content lead for the exhibit. “This exhibit is as much about St. Louis as it is about musical theatre. There are stories about Forest Park, St. Louisans who made it big, and of course the personal stories of how generations of St. Louisans have grown up seeing at least one Muny performance.”
Usually the final production is the only thing the audience sees, however, visitors to Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage are invited to “follow the yellow brick road” behind the set of the Scarecrow scene (as used in the 2016 Muny production of The Wizard of Oz) for a “behind-the-scenes” look at how that Muny magic is brought to life. From there, visitors will learn about everything from show selections and auditions to the big stars that have graced the Muny stage, including Cary Grant, Pearl Bailey, Mary Wickes, Betty White, Debbie Reynolds, Bob Hope, Jennifer Holliday, and more.
Muny Memories also gives visitors the rare opportunity to see some of the many props kept in the Muny storehouse including, the carriage from Cinderella (1995 and 2003), the lamppost from Singin’ in the Rain (2005), the deathbed from The King and I (2012), the black umbrella from Mary Poppins (2013), the white wedding dress from Aida (2016), one of Ursula’s tentacles from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2017), and Tevye’s milk wagon with milk tins from Fiddler on the Roof (2016) which was repurposed as a newspaper cart in Newsies (2017).
The exhibit features a number of interactive elements including an area where visitors can put on their dancing shoes and join a rehearsal with Muny choreographer Michael Baxter to learn the finale from A Chorus Line. Other interactive features include a section that invites guests to cast their vote for their favorite Muny stars, a searchable database of all of the Muny show programs, and “photo ops” with musical characters such as Annie and Sandy from Annie and the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz.
Muny Memories is designed to be enjoyed by visitors of all abilities. Guests with low vision will be able to touch examples of set materials, like those used for the Scarecrow scene in The Wizard of Oz, or use a relief map of The Muny complete with braille to get an idea of the space. Visitors can also learn about some of the ways The Muny makes shows accessible through an audio description of two scenes from the 2016 production of The Wizard of Oz described by Elaine Laws of Mind’s Eye, the company which provides visual descriptions for each Muny show.
As part of programming for the exhibit, the public is invited to join the Missouri History Museum for Muny Tuesdays on select Tuesdays during the 2018 Muny season. Visitors to the Museum will enjoy refreshments, games, prizes, performances, and demonstrations before Muny performances.
“One hundred seasons is a lot to explore, even in a 6,000-square-foot exhibit. In addition to the artifacts, costumes, and props, visitors will learn about The Muny and the history of this region through hundreds and hundreds of photographs,” said Smith. “Whether you’ve experienced the theatre from the front row or the free seats, or have never been to the Muny at all, this exhibit has something for you. I believe visitors to Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage will walk away from the exhibit with a real sense of why The Muny truly is ‘Alone in Its Greatness.”
Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage is on display through June 2, 2019. Admission is free.