Tony Award nominee Keala Settle (Waitress) and original Hamilton cast member Okieriete Onaodowan are among Broadway names who have joined the cast of 54 Celebrates the Muppets, planned for 7 PM May 8 at Feinstein’s/54 Below supper club in New York.
Also newly announced: Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Tony nominee, Avenue Q), Anika Larsen (Tony nominee, Beautiful), Gerard Canonico (Groundhog Day), Lilli Cooper (Wicked), Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen), Monet Sabel, Natalie Walker, Joel Perez, Craig Fogel, and Julia Mattison.
They will perform alongside the previously announced Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin and Hamilton), Taran Killam (Hamilton) , Lesli Margherita (Matilda), and Tony nominees Richard Kind (The Big Knife) and Emily Skeggs (Fun Home). Kind will also host the event. Organizers are also promising “plus surprise puppet guests.”
The show will consist of covers of songs from the Muppets’ canon. Click here to order tickets.
The club first saluted Jim Henson’s puppet creations with a pair of sold-out shows in summer 2016. Kind will host this encore engagement, which will also feature performances by puppeteer Rick Lyon (Avenue Q), Gerard Canonico (Groundhog Day), Lilli Cooper (The SpongeBob Musical, Wicked), Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen), Monet Sabel (Sweeney Todd), Natalie Walker (Cabaret), and others to be announced.
The concert will be produced and directed by Philip Romano with music direction by Ben Caplan.
Watch a clip from the summer 2016 show, including a performance by Iglehart:
The Muppets have long had a connection with Broadway. Their 1984 movie The Muppets Take Manhattan told the story of how they wanted to come to New York and put on a Broadway musical. The long-running TV series The Muppet Show was structured like a vaudeville variety show, ostensibly taking place in a live theatre, complete with backstage scenes and a pair of hecklers in the box seats.
The May 8 Feinstein’s/54 Below show will recreate the latter gag as two “hecklers” from the side table, playing the roles originated by the Muppets' Statler and Waldorf, will harass host Kind.
Disney was reported in 2013 as testing the idea of a Muppet stage project.