Erin Moore’s road for a career that has spanned film, television and stage began at the Muny. She was in the inaugural group of Muny Kids before graduating to Muny Teens and earning her Actor’s Equity Association card as a 17-year-old performer in the “King and I” and “Anything Goes.”
Next week, she will be back with years of experience – and a good friend – when she takes the stage as a member of the ensemble of “Guys and Dolls” for the opening production of the Muny’s 101st Season.
Moore met Alicia Lundgren while studying at Fordham University in New York, where they were a part of the Alvin Ailey Fordham BFA Program – which is a joint initiative between the Ailey School and Fordham.
They’ve remained friends – and worked together on television and on Broadway in the Tony Award-nominated musical “Shuffle Along.” But having Lundgren see where Moore received her early education in musical theater will be a special memory on its own.
“She’s here with me and it’s like ‘this is the place,’” Moore said. “I was telling her when we sat in rehearsal on the first day that I had that moment of remembering having so much fun here in the summer,” Moore said. “I have so many memories of the place. It feels like home.”
She remembered sitting in the music room. She remembered the campus. She also remembered waiting to get “the call” from Muny Company Manager Sue Greenberg.
“Sue was the one who let you know that you booked a show.”
Moore’s first call from Greenberg was for the musical “Annie” when she was just a child.
“I really think that it was a place – even growing up as a kid – to experience theater at a really high level,” Moore said. “It’s a really great theater. It holds up to any regional theater in the country. To be able to have grown up there and experience that as a kid and as a teenager – and get my first job – to have this place be the place where you learned the ropes, that was the biggest thing for me.”
After Fordham, Moore relocated to Philadelphia where she danced with the famed dance company Philadanco for three years. After touring the world as a concert dancer and working as a commercial dancer, Moore decided she would return to New York to pursue a career in film, television and stage. Her years in the Muny benefited her quite handsomely.
“I felt like having done theater as a kid, I knew the ropes,” Moore said. “I didn’t feel out of my element. I felt like I was making a career switch, but I knew how to navigate. I knew the culture. I knew I how things went. I was definitely not a fish out of water and that was certainly from growing up and doing it here.”
She came back to the Muny in 2012 after having done “Follies” on Broadway to be a part of their productions of “Aladdin” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
Since then she’s continued to appear on Broadway and on television.
She was on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” She did “Saturday Night Live” with Kanye West. She even performed as a character inspired by Josephine Baker with the San Francisco Symphony.
“I think it’s interesting because I came back at one point in my career in 2012,” Moore said. “And now I’m at a different point in my career in 2019.”
More recently, she recently appeared in the FX Network’s “Fosse/Verdon,” a series highlighting the work of legendary choreographer Bob Fosse and his muse /former wife, celebrated dancer Gwen Verdon.
“It was a really amazing job to do because obviously it’s Fosse and it being period, and it being so iconic and getting to learn the choreography,” Moore said. “In the episode I did, we did ‘Big Spender’ from ‘Sweet Charity.’ I was getting to learn the choreography from people who danced with Fosse – like Mary Ann Lamb and Mimi Quillin.”
Next month she’ll make an appearance on the season three premiere of the Emmy Award-winning Amazon Prime show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” In the meantime, audiences can catch Moore in the place that gave the foundation she needed to help her navigate her career.
“It’s nice to come back and have that community be exactly how I remember it,” Moore said. “Of course, they are now 101 (years old) and constantly evolving in the best way, but it still feels like how I remember and that is what I think is awesome about it being a community.
To leave and come back at a different place in my career and a different age–and have it still feel the same as when I was a kid and a teenager – That’s pretty cool.”
The Muny’s presentation of “Guys and Dolls” will take place from June 10 – June 16 at The Muny in Forest Park. Sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, the production is directed by Gordon Greenberg, co-choreographed by Lorin Latarro and Patrick O’Neill with music direction by Brad Haak. Muny legend Ken Page is among the featured cast. For tickets and/or additional information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.