Manhattan Melodies is a fictional musical featured in The Muppets Take Manhattan. The play's story is about life in the big city - but not cops, shootings or car chases; it's more like songs and dances. The show centers on the marriage of the two main characters (played by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy). Manhattan Melodies was written by Kermit the Frog and featured many of his Muppet friends.
The show was originally created as a one-night-only show for Danhurst College's senior variety show. The show was a success, gaining uproarious applause. It wasn't until an audience member shouted out "Hey Kermit, next time we'll see you on Broadway!" that the idea arose (initiated by Scooter) of continuing the show and taking it to a bigger arena. It took some convincing to get star and writer Kermit onboard with the idea – his initial reaction was that "this show isn't good enough for Broadway and anyway the script needs a lot of work. I still think there's something missing."
The troupe traveled to New York City where they pitched the show to many of Broadway's biggest names, including Martin Price, Bernard Crawford, Irving Krauss, the Associated Theatrical Producers Inc., Katherine Edmundski, and Leonard Winesop. However production hit a snag as Kermit struggled with funding and finding a producer. But after weeks of searching Broadway came calling.
Ronnie Crawford, son of producer Bernard Crawford, was the first to show interest in producing Manhattan Melodies on Broadway. Bernard Crawford had promised his son a chance to produce one show, and Ronnie choose Kermit's quirky show as the one he was interested in. Crawford agreed to produce the musical at the famous Biltmore Theatre.
The production team got a scare just weeks before the opening when Kermit, the writer, creator and star, went missing. Luckily he was found and ready to go on just seconds before the curtain went up on opening night. He also discovered what the show was missing – more frogs, and dogs, and bears, and chickens and whatever! An impromptu change was made and the casts' newfound friends were immediately thrust into the show. Needless to say, the show was a big success.
- Writer: Kermit the Frog
- Producer: Ronnie Crawford
- Executive Producer: Bernard Crawford
- Costumes by Jenny
- Orchestration: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
- Catering: Pete's Luncheonette
- Kermit the Frog
- Fozzie Bear
- Miss Piggy
- Rowlf the Dog
- and Dr. Cyril Jenkins as The Minister
- Also featuring:
- Animal, Baby Band, Baskerville the Hound, Beaker, Bears, Beauregard, Bert, Beth Bear, Biff, Big Bird, Bill, Bobby Benson, Bridal Gowns, Bubba, Bunsen Honeydew, Buster the Horse, Clementine, Cookie Monster, Count von Count, Crazy Harry, Deena, Dinger, Dr. Teeth, Droop, Elmo, Ernie, Fazoobs, Flower-Eating Monster, Floyd Pepper, Foo Foo, Forcryingoutloud Bird, Forgetful Jones, Gaffer,George the Janitor, Geri and the Atrics, Gil, Gramps, Grover, Grundgetta, Guy Smiley, Herry Monster, Hilda, Honkers, Juliet, Irvine, Janice, Slim Wilson, Jill, J.P. Grosse, Julius Strangepork, Lew Zealand, Lewis Kazagger, Link Hogthrob, Lips, Lou, Lubbock Lou, Luncheon Counter Monster, Marvin Suggs, Masterson Rat, Maurice Monster, Mildred, Mrs. Appleby, Newsman, Oscar the Grouch, Pearl, Penguins, Pigs, Pops, Quongo, Rizzo the Rat, Robin the Frog, Sam the Eagle, Scooter, Sherlock Hemlock, Simon Soundman, Snowths, Sully, Swedish Chef, Tatooey Rat, Telly Monster, Tuxedos, Two-Headed Monster, Uncle Deadly, Uncle Traveling Matt, Wedding Cakes, Whaddayasay Bird, The White Rabbit, Yolanda Rat, Zeke, and Zoot
- The role of the Minister, performed by Dr. Cyril Jenkins, was originally intended for Gonzo. However a last minute casting change was made by Miss Piggy.
- The show features a very unique set for the closing number. The distinctive set, which is of a church, has four full walls surrounding the sanctuary. This unique set design completely encloses the actors from the paying audience's view.
- "I love it! It is so different!"
- "A boffo-socko script for a Broadway slot called Manhattan Mellodies. It's totally today, yet tremendously timeless!"
- "Unknowns, songs, dances, shootings...wait, no shootings! I smell something. I smell a hit!"