It is a universally acknowledged truth that everything is better with muppets.
Wanna make an entertaining variety show? Add some muppets. Planning a 3D theme park attraction? Do it with muppets. Trying to hunt down treasure on a deserted island? Let’s throw some muppets in there! And Tim Curry. Just for fun.
What’s next on the list to be improved by these splendiferous hunks of rubber and fur?
Yup, Broadway. I was poking around the Disney/Broadway universe in preparation for a Disney Tony Awards post (coming soon) when I discovered this article by Variety.
Keep in mind, it’s early days yet. The article simply reported that there was some sort of exploratory showcase at the New Amsterdam Theater (future home of a Broadway production of Aladdin) to see if it was “feasible” to have a Muppet stage show.
First, is it, in fact, feasible? Puppets certainly aren’t new to Broadway. Avenue Q, a show where the main characters are mostly puppets, won the Tony for best musical in 2004 and is still running Off-Broadway. But in that show the puppeteers are fully visible and utilized as part of the illusion. Can you imagine seeing the man puppeteering Kermit? That would be like seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World without his head on. So very wrong. Not to mention you’d have to find enough performers who can successfully mimic the iconic muppet voices.
That’s the first feel. Skepticism.
Next feel? I love the muppets. They are my childhood. They are my joy. They are my sorrow. They are my rainbow connection.
If you ruin them for me I will end you.
On the other hand…this idea gets me really excited. Can you even imagine if they successfully pull this off? The Muppets are even more tailor-made for Broadway than Mormons.
They’re corny. They’re sincere and heartfelt. They’re irreverent and goofy. Not to mention they constantly burst into song and dance numbers. Plus, they have a cult following that will inspire millions of suckers to drop $135 on two hours of entertainment.
That’s a recipe for Broadway success. [Big Bro’s note: you forgot the Jews]
Bottom line, I am intrigued. True, Disney has destroyed beloved franchises on stage before (ahem, Little Mermaid), but I have faith in the Muppets. If it can be done at all, I trust that it can be done to the quality of mupptitude we have all come to expect.*
*Yes, I am choosing to forget about The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz. It never happened!