Disney Theatrical Tests New Muppet Stage Show
The Muppets may have already hit Broadway on screen in their classic film The Muppets Take Manhattan, but this week, it was announced that the Muppets’ real-life Broadway debut may not be too far away. Disney Theatrical Productions recently held a 15-minute showcase featuring the Muppets to test the feasibility of a stage show featuring the iconic group.
The short presentation was held May 31 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre for a closed audience of Disney Theatrical staffers and others connected to the production. Conceived and directed by Alex Timbers, who recently co-directed Peter and the Starcatcher for Disney, the show featured over 85 Muppets performing classic Muppet songs with a variety of set pieces. Though Timbers conceived of the Muppet performance while working on Starcatcher, the presentation was timed to take place in May due to the overlapping availability of Timbers, the Muppets (who recently wrapped shooting on the new Muppets sequel), and the New Amsterdam Theater, which is currently empty prior to the Broadway debut of Aladdin.
The test presentation was done to determine whether or not it would be feasible for the Muppets to perform in a live theatrical context, as a Muppet performance requires juggling all the challenges of a traditional live performance with the puppetry demands of the Muppets and their performers, including audience sightlines so as to hide the Muppeteers. The presentation comes a little over a year after the Muppets’ successful concert at Carnegie Hall, in which the Muppets performed live in an informal concert setting.
The presentation reportedly went well, with Disney Theatricals president Thomas Schumacher saying he was “intrigued.” There is currently no word yet on if or when the stage production may come to fruition, but we’ll keep you posted on this incredibly exciting possible show.