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Revisiting ‘The Muppets Take Manhattan’

Revisiting 'The Muppets Take Manhattan'

"The Muppets Take Manhattan": fantastic then and now. Image:

The great thing about being a well-dressed woman? When you attend a kids’ movie alone, no one thinks you are a pervert.

I wasn’t the only grown-up sans kids at the Music Box’s matinee of “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Audience members ranged from families to groups of twentysomethings on up. Two elderly gentlemen sat together a few rows ahead of me. The first time I ever went to Music Box, I thought “where are Statler and Waldorf?” Now I had my answer.

Nostalgia isn’t my thing.┬áThat said, the Muppets never go out of style. I’ve been obsessed with New York City lately. And I have the distinct memory of being four years old and holding my doll Priscilla on my lap as I stared up at the very big screen in my very small town.

I’m happy to say “The Muppets Take Manhattan” holds up. The songs are well-written, the celebrity cameos terrifically 80′s (Liza Minnelli pre-crazy! Gregory Hines! John Landis!), and the story of making a dream happen is timeless. The timing is tight, the jokes still funny.

The authors of my favorite screenwriting book say the key to penning a children’s movie is not to pander. ┬áJim Henson’s obvious respect for his characters, human and man-made, and the audiences who loved them is clear in every detail of “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Well-done, sir, wherever you are.

Music Box’s Children’s Matinee Series continues next weekend with “5,000 Fingers of Dr. T” at Music Box Theatre (3730 N. Southport).

This is a RedEye community blog. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author and not those of RedEye or Tribune Company.

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