Entertainment » Music

Fireworks Finale: The Muppets Take The Bowl

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 12, 2017
Bobby Moynihan with Kermit
Bobby Moynihan with Kermit  

First it was The Simpsons, and now the iconic Jim Henson's Muppets have taken over the Hollywood Bowl to end another fantastic season of concerts, movies, and festivals.

The year-end "Fireworks Finale: The Muppets Take the Bowl" brought our all our favorites from Kermit and Miss Piggy to Fozzie the Bear, Gonzo, Sweetums, Sweetish Chef, and so much more. What was delightful about the show is that it really did play like the classic "Muppet Show" from the '70s.

There were crazy act breaks, behind-the-scenes drama, and all of the skits we know and love such as "Pigs in Space," "Veterinarian's Hospital," "Dr. Bunson Honeydew's Lab," as well as classics from the films like Kermit and Fozzie singing "Moving Right Along" and the entire company ending the evening with "The Rainbow Connection."

Fascinatingly, the audience was treated to a little behind-the-scenes magic as many of the Muppets appeared on stage with their puppeteer counterparts in full view. But what's even more shocking is how you still believe these whacky creations are real. Not once do you feel you're watching a clever manipulation or trick of the eye. Sam the Eagle was there.

Kermit was on stage and dancing his little heart out. And even with the addition of Special Guest star Bobby Moynihan, it all moved smoothly and naturally together Muppet and human alike. And what could be more thrilling than a mini-concert by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem band? Oh, I know! The Mahna Mahna aliens! Yep, there they were, too. Live on stage.

Highlights of the night were "Bohemian Rhapsody" led by Gonzo the Great, and the one skit that made me giggle uncontrollably, "Boo Danube" where "Blue Danube" was sung by a trio of ghosts. And of course, Miss Piggy was saved almost until the end as -- she will tell you -- she's the real star of the show, and you have to save the best for last. Of course, her big number wasn't without issues which found the curvaceous pig being flipped around the stage in a riotous finale.

Of course, there is a list of Muppet performers that needs to be recognized that brought the delightful evening to life. But it was the mainstays that have become household names among Muppet fans that were a thrill to see in action. From Dave Goelz (Gonzo), Bill Barretta (Sweetish Chef), Eric Jacobson (Miss Piggy). Matt Vogel (Kermit), to David Rudman (Scooter), and Peter Linz (Robin) it was quite a spectacular night.

Fans young and old walked out of the Bowl's final weekend shows with smiles plastered on their faces, and giddy joy in their hearts. For many of a certain age, it was a night of magic, nostalgia, and shock since as kids, none of us would ever think we'd get to see the Muppet Show live in person. It was a genuine thrill, and I hope that either this show goes on tour across the country or they bring them back every year to enchant the Bowl audience again and again.

"Fireworks Finale: The Muppets Take the Bowl" played September 8-10th at the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. For upcoming events at the Bowl, visit www.hollywoodbowl.com.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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