Disney Theatrical Productions is exploring a new live stage show, the Muppets on Stage. Disney even used a short, but elaborate presentation directed by Alex Timbers while considering this possible new show.
The showcase was held on May 31 at Disney’s New Amsterdam Theater for a group of Disney Theatrical Productions staffers and a few others connected to the potential project. The show incorporated a handful of sets as well as more than 85 Muppets in an effort to determine if it would be feasible to present the Muppets in a live theatrical context, while juggling puppetry needs with audience sightlines, plus all the other physical demands of theater.
“It was a test of concept,” said Thomas Schumacher, the producer of Disney Theatrical. With the primary focus on the technical requirements of the endeavor, a short selection of pre-existing Muppet material was performed.
Timbers, the director, told Schumacher that he had come up with a concept for a Muppets stage show while they collaborated on the Peter Pan prequel “Peter and the Starcatcher.” That 2011 Off Broadway outing went on to win five Tonys in 2012.
The showcase only ran 15 minutes, but was timed to take place during a window of overlapping availability for Timbers, the New Amsterdam, and the actual band of puppets, who are following the filming of Disney’s “The Muppets… Again!,” which is currently scheduled for a March release.
Although it’s too early to determine if a project will develop out of the recent Muppets event, the brief tryout seemed to be successful.
“I’m very intrigued,” Schumacher said, regarding the potential show.
Would you like to see The Muppets on Stage?
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