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This just tickles me! I grew up watching the original Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas special on HBO as a child, and the idea of it as a stage musical makes me smile. The story was adapted from a book, also called Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, by Russell and Lillian Hoban.

The musical was first adapted for the stage for the 2008 season and premiered at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut.

We’re happy to announce that the 2009 holiday engagement of Goodspeed Musicals’ Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter opens to previews tonight, Dec. 5 — again at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, with the formal press opening on December 16. All performances are open to the public.

Emmet Otter will run to Jan. 3, 2010.

This is a Christmas musical for the whole family, featuring both human and puppet characters.

According to press notes:

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. Featuring 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!

Performers include Broadway’s Kathy Fitzgerald (Roz in 9 to 5) plays Ma, Connecticut native Meg Guzulescu (Billy Elliot) plays Jane, and Jennifer Barnhart, a puppeteer from Avenue Q, is among the cast.

For more information visit www.goodspeed.org.