World-first Muppet 'Retrospectacle' to premiere in Wellington

The Muppets have graced our screens for generations, and now they're here in the flesh.

Wellington will soon be treated to the world's first Jim Henson Retrospectacle, featuring characters from the Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock.

Kermit the Frog will be there, as will Ernie and Bert. Flight of the Conchords musician Bret McKenzie, who won an Oscar for his 2011 Muppet Movie theme song, will take to the stage as a special guest.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will provide musical accompaniment for the colourful cast.

The Retrospectacle is a tribute to the man who created The Muppets - Jim Henson, who died in 1990. Those who worked with him recall his desire to make the world a better place with his work.

"You see it in Fraggle Rock and the Muppet Show, how all these characters of different shapes and sizes and colours get along so well," says Henson's PR agent Arthur Novell.

"Families would watch this show together, so it was a generational thing - and I think that is one of the things that made it very popular and relevant," says Bonnie Erickson, former executive director of the Jim Henson Legacy.

That tradition was passed onto another generation on Monday, with Piri Weepu's five-year-old son Peyton gifting Bert and Ernie an All Blacks rubber duck.

"Hopefully he goes home and starts watching a bit of Sesame Street like Dad used to," says the former All Black.

The Jim Henson Retrospectacle will be performed on April 27 and 28 in Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre.