Casting and creative team have been announced for the New York premiere of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. Based on the book by Russell and Lillian Hoban and Jim Henson’s popular classic holiday special, the stage adaptation by iTheatrics, in association with The Jim Henson Company, will run as part of the previously announced New Victory Theater season December 10–January 2, 2022.
The show follows Emmet and Ma Otter as they enter a Christmas Eve talent contest hoping to win prize money to buy each other holiday gifts.
Christopher Gattelli, the Tony-winning choreographer of Newsies, will direct and choreograph the stage adaptation of the beloved 1977 TV puppet special, featuring a mix of costumed performers and puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The show has a book by iTheatrics' Timothy Allen McDonald and Gattelli and a score by Oscar winner (and frequent Muppets collaborator) Paul Williams.
The cast will include Colin Trudell as Emmet Otter, Jordan Brownlee puppeteering Tiny Squirrel/Doc Bullfrog, Kevin Covert as Mayor Fox, LaVon Fisher-Wilson (Newsies) as Mrs. Mink/Hetty Muskrat, Matt Furtado puppeteering Skippy Squirrel/Yancy Woodchuck/Stan Weasel, Jakeim Hart as Harvey, Steven Huynh as Wendell/Weasel, Maggie Lakis as Mrs. Fox, Anney Ozar puppeteering Nutella Squirrel/Old Lady Possum, J. Antonio Rodriguez as Charlie/Will Possum, James Silson puppeteering Jiffy Squirrel/Fred Lizard, and Cass Morgan (Memphis) as Ma Otter.
"Cheryl Henson and I have been scheming and dreaming for over a decade to bring Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas to the New Victory,” said New Victory Artistic Director Mary Rose Lloyd. “Working with the talented Paul Williams, Chris Gattelli, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop with our good friends at iTheatrics is a holiday wish come true!”
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas will feature scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Jennifer Schriever, sound design by Matt Kraus, make-up design by Melissa Munn, puppet supervision by John Tartaglia, music direction by Larry Pressgrove, orchestrations by Dan DeLange, arrangements by Pressgrove and Dan DeLange, and casting by Calleri Jensen Davis. Ray DeMattis serves as associate director.
Opening night is set for December 17. The production will also be available to stream on-demand as part of the New Victory Theater’s virtual season December 17–January 2.
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is produced by Timothy Allen McDonald, iTheatrics, Writers’ Cage, Cheryl Henson, and Heather Henson, with Alex Robertson serving as associate producer.