Tonight, The Muppets are performing two shows at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, and man-oh-man, I wish I could be there (and, interestingly, it's a show apparently not appropriate for kids under the age of 12).
But I don't think I've missed my chance to see Jim Henson's finest in the fuzz, because a couple of new domain registrations show traces of a Disney plan to take them to the stage, both in Broadway and On Tour.
According to Stitch Kingdom, THEMUPPETSONBROADWAY.COM and THEMUPPETSONTOUR.COM have been registered. I tried a Who Is, but couldn't find any more – yet.
Henson got some way into developing a Muppets Broadway show in 1972, with The Lincoln Centre, but it never quite came to fruition. What we have now is not likely to have much in common with this old concept, and will likely reflect The Muppets as we know them today – after The Muppet Show, after all of their movies. There have been a few, short-lived special events and one-offs, like tonights shows, and those are probably closer to what we can expect.
Now… could this show cross the Atlantic and end up in Europe? Well, Kermit may have been dropping a hint when I spoke to him last year. He told me that he'd love to appear on the London stage.
On that very day, I spoke to the small handful of other journalists who were leaving after their 1:1 interviews but before the afternoon press conference. "Are you nuts?" I asked, "There's a live Muppet show this afternoon and you're not sticking around for it?"
They made some excuses and scuttled away. And it's worth noting, they were definitely in the minority. And that press conference played brilliantly.
Suffice to say, I think a live Muppet show could a thing of real beauty. And a way to keep the little critters busy between movies and – please – TV shows.
I'll be watching developments here very closely. I'm sure you're not surprised.
Incidentally, Disney have also registered domains for 101 Dalmatians, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Pinocchio stage shows. These add to the now-playing Newsies, imminent Dumbo, and all of those other, well known shows that they've mounted since The Lion King proved to be a smash.