Andy Mientus and Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone Will Lead the Chicago Premiere of JIM HENSON'S EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS

Performances run November 14-December 31, 2023.

By: Sep. 22, 2023
Andy Mientus and Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone Will Lead the Chicago Premiere of JIM HENSON'S EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS

Casting for the live theatrical adaptation of “Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas” is now set for the Chicago premiere production, November 14-December 31, 2023, at the Studebaker Theater at the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan Avenue. Based on the beloved television special originally created by the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, this family-friendly musical features music and lyrics by Paul Williams (The Muppet Movie), with book by lead producer Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach) and director/choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Newsies). Packed with puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and starring Andy Mientus (Broadway’s Spring Awakening, Les Misérables) in the title role and Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone (Broadway’s Hands on a Hardbody) as Ma, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is a heartwarming celebration of the true spirit of the holidays. The press opening is November 20, 2023 at 7:30pm.

Tickets, starting at $43, are now on sale at the Studebaker Theatre box office (410 South Michigan Avenue),, and 312-753-3210. Private balcony boxes for up to 6 people are available for family-friendly pricing of $300, including fees. Group reservations (8 or more people) are currently available through Group Tix and Tours at

Direct from its triumphant New York City run, Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas brings the beloved television special to life, live on stage. Hailed by The New York Times for its “enchanting puppets” created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and “superb score” by Academy Award®–winning songwriter Paul Williams, this 75-minute tale takes us to Frogtown Hollow, where Ma and Emmet Otter risk what little they have to make each other’s holiday dreams come true. Directed by Tony Award® winner Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, SpongeBob: The Musical, “Schmigadoon”), this very merry musical is a heartwarming celebration perfect for the entire family.

Leading the cast are Andy Mientus (Broadway’s Spring Awakening, Les Misérables, TV’s “Smash” and “The Flash”) in the role of Emmet Otter, and Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone (Broadway’s Hands On A Hardbody, TV’s “Good Behavior”) as Ma. The cast also includes Jordan Brownlee (Puppeteer/Doc Bullfrog), Nick Cearley (Charlie Muskrat), Kevin Covert (Mayor Fox), Adam Fane (Understudy), Matt Furtado (Puppeteer/Stan Weasel), Sharriese Hamilton (Mrs. Mink), Steven Hunyn (Wendell Porcupine, u/s Emmet Otter), Ben Mathew (Harvey Beaver), Leah Morrow (Swing), Anney Ozar (Puppeteer/Old Lady Possum), Emily Rohm (Gretchen Fox), James Silson (Puppeteer/Snake), Sawyer Smith (Madame Squirrel), and David Stephens (Puppeteer/Yancy Woodchuck).

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, produced by iTheatrics in association with The Jim Henson Company, is a theatrical adaptation of Jim Henson’s television special and is based on the illustrated book Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban. The acclaimed musical premiered at Goodspeed Opera House in 2008 and played Off-Broadway at the New Victory Theater in December of 2021.

This Production of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas was Licensed by Music Theatre International.

The music and lyrics for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas are written by the legendary Paul Williams, the recipient of an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and three Grammy Awards. His songs "The Rainbow Connection" and “Evergreen" are included in the American Film Institute's List of Top Movie Songs of All Time. The New York Times called Williams’s score for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas “as playful as it is heart-whole beautiful.”

The book is co-written by lead producer Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, Between The Lines, and The Book Thief) and director/choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Tony Award Winner for his Newsies choreography, and choreographer of SpongeBob the Musical and AppleTV+’s Schmigadoon!). Of the 2021 run, The New York Times hailed “the message, which celebrates fellow feeling and mutual care, is especially welcome right now,” while Hollywood Soapbox called it “an important staple of any holiday season.”

Puppets are created by the iconic Jim Henson’s Creature Shop (My Neighbor Totoro, Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock). Scenic design for Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is by three-time Tony nominee Anna Louizos (In The Heights, High Fidelity, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood), with costume design by two-time Tony winner Gregg Barnes (Follies and The Drowsy Chaperone), lighting design by Obie Award winner and Tony Nominee Jen Schriever (Death of a Salesman and A Strange Loop), and sound design is by Emmy Award winner Matt Kraus (“Disney's Broadway Hits at Royal Hall”). The New York Times raved of the production “the sets are charming and transporting, the costumes elegant.” The orchestrations are by Dan DeLange (Oliver nominated production of Showboat, Goodspeed Musicals) and the music supervisor is Larry Pressgrove (Tony nominated production of [title of show]). Two-time Tony nominee Alexander Robertson (The Wiz; New York, New York; and The Piano Lesson) is Senior Associate Producer.

Follow Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok at EmmetOtterLive. The official website is


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