Theater News

Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas to Make Chicago Debut

The family musical will open in Chicago this holiday season.

Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas at the New Victory Theater in New York City
(© Richard Termine)

The stage version of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas will make its Chicago debut this holiday season. Performances are set to begin in November at the Studebaker Theater at the historic Fine Arts Building.

Based on the beloved television special originally created by legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, the family-friendly musical features music and lyrics by Paul Williams (The Muppet Movie), with a book by lead producer Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach) and direction and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies). The show premiered at Goodspeed Opera House in 2008 and played off-Broadway at the New Victory Theater in December of 2021.

Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is described as follows: “It’s three days before Christmas and Mayor Fox has just announced a Christmas talent contest with a grand prize of fifty dollars! Meanwhile, times are tough for Ma and Emmet Otter since Pa passed away, and winning that prize money would allow them to secretly buy each other a Christmas gift. Emmet considers forming a jug-band with his friends, but in order to do that he’ll have to put a hole in Ma’s washtub. The problem is, Ma earns money by doing other folks’ laundry in the washtub. Ma thinks about hocking Pa’s old toolbox so she can make a costume for the contest, but Emmet uses those tools to do odd jobs. As Christmas Eve and the talent contest quickly approach, will Ma and Emmet sacrifice what little they have, or will their Christmas wishes come true?”

Click here to read TheaterMania’s interview with composer Paul Williams.