The plot of the third (and best) Muppets movie may come true sometime soon. The Walt Disney Co., the Muppets’ corporate parent, is “quietly initiated early explorations of a live stage show” featuring the Muppet characters, Variety reported.
A 15-minute preview presentation was recently produced, featuring a few sets and 85 of the Muppet characters- think “More chickens and frogs and dogs and everything”– at a Disney-owned Broadway theater in New York.
The purpose of the preview, Variety said, was to “reveal whether it would even be feasible to present the Muppets in a live theatrical context, juggling puppetry needs with audience sightlines and all the other physical demands of legit theater.”
A puppet-dominated Broadway musical isn’t totally unheard of, and I’m not only speaking of the fictional “Manhattan Melodies” of Muppet canon. The Sesame Street parody “Avenue Q” ran on Broadway for many years, after starting as an off-Broadway show. Disney has gotten ambitious about Broadway productions in the last few years, featuring high-budget theatrical versions of “The Lion King” and other popular movies.
The concept seems a ways away from coming to fruition, although the movie “The Muppets… Again!” recently completed filming, and is set for a release next spring.