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Isaacson cast in lead Muny creative role

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 5, 2010 - Theater producer Mike Isaacson, whose fiery Broadway production of "Red" won six Tony awards in June, has accepted the top spot at the St. Louis Muny.

The Muny announced Oct. 5 that the Fox Theatricals Broadway producer is joining the Muny as its executive producer. Isaacson will work with longtime executive producer Paul Blake this coming summer and will go solo the following season when Blake's contract ends.

While Isaacson has "lots of ideas" for putting his personal style stamp on the venerable outdoor theater, Isaacson is in no hurry to do so.

"The thing about an institution like the Muny, even though executive producer is an important title, it's not about you," Isaacson said. "If you have a vision, you have to go forward in a way that's very collegial and you have to have lot of conversations to get everybody on board before you go."

Isaacson's Muny gig will be full-time, unlike the terms of both his predecessors. But he will continue his work with Fox Theatricals.

"The Muny already has a tight relationship with the Broadway community," Isaacson said. "That creative capital is important to the institution, so we saw a lot of mutual benefit."

Besides "Red," Isaacson's Broadway productions have included "Legally Blonde" and "Death of a Salesman." During his years with Fox Theatricals, Isaacson also booked shows for the Fox Theatre.

The Muny in Forest Park presented its first show, "As You Like It," in 1917. The venue seats 10,000 people.

Nancy Fowler Larson is a freelance writer who regularly reports on theater for the Beacon.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.