The production, directed and choreographed by co-librettist Christopher Gattelli, is already popular enough to prompt Goodspeed Musicals to add two extra performances — Dec. 28 and Jan. 4, 2009, both at 6:30 PM. The run ends Jan. 4, 2009, but Goodspeed is hoping to make the family-friendly show an annual event.
This is the first time the two-time Tony Award-winning Goodspeed — known for its revivals and new works — has created a show specifically for the holiday season.
According to Goodspeed, "As Christmas approaches the world of Frogtown Hollow, Emmet Otter and his Ma can only dream of buying each other gifts. So when a Christmas Eve talent contest is announced, both secretly enter hoping to win the prize money. In a heartwarming twist on 'The Gift of the Magi,' Emmet and Ma risk all they have and end up with the greatest grand prize of all. Based on director Jim Henson's television feature, this new theatrical adaptation features a lovable mix of actors and puppet characters from The Jim Henson Company and a toe-tapping score, it's a classic holiday musical for all ages!"
The musical is based on the book "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" by Russell and Lillian Hoban and the ground-breaking all-puppet HBO special of the same name produced and directed by Jim Henson. This production is a unique collaboration among Goodspeed Musicals; co-book writers Timothy A. McDonald of iTheatrics and Christopher Gattelli (who choreographed Altar Boyz, Broadway's South Pacific, Sunday in the Park With George); Paul Williams (Happy Days, "The Muppet Movie") who contributed the music and lyrics; and The Jim Henson Company. The cast includes Broadway veterans Daniel Reichard (Emmet Otter), Cass Morgan (Ma Otter), Alan Campbell (Pa Otter) and Kate Wetherhead (Jane). The ensemble includes Stephen Bienski, Tyler Bunch, Kevin Covert, Leo Daignault, Colin Hanlon, Jeff Hiller, Lisa Howard, Anney McKilligan, Sheri Sanders, Robb Sapp, James Silson, David Stephens and Daniel Torres. The swings are Matthew Furtado and Kristin Feeney.
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is produced for Goodspeed Musicals by Michael P. Price.