It’s too bad The Muppets Take Manhattan has already been used, because it would be the obvious title for a Broadway production of the Muppets, which is now being rumored.
Variety reports that Disney Theatrical Productions is exploring the possibility of a live stage show featuring the Muppets, and Alex Timbers directed a “short but elaborate” presentation late last month at the New Amsterdam Theater for a small audience. The presentation reportedly included over 85 muppets and multiple sets to see if a live show would be possible, particularly when considering puppetry needs and audience sight lines.
Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher merely said, “It was a test of a concept,” but added that, “I’m very intrigued.”
Technical difficulties of presenting this show aside, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened already. But now would likely be good timing, considering the Muppets were put back in the public eye with Jason Segel’s The Muppets released in 2011 and a sequel of sorts, The Muppets… Again! reportedly readying a release in March 2014.
But Disney Theatrical is busy with productions of Shakespeare in Love, Father of the Bride and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are all in development stage, and Aladdin will debut in the spring of 2014, also at the New Amsterdam.
Timbers told Schumacher he came up with the idea for a Muppets musical when the two were working on Peter and the Starcatcher a few years back, but he also has a full plate coming up. He’ll be directing The Last Goodbye in San Diego and Rocky on Broadway. Previously he has also directed The Pee Wee Herman Show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Here Lies Love.
The Variety article also points out that Kermit sang “Rainbow Connection” during the short presentation. Hopefully it’s a given that this also will be included in the final show, should production move forward.