GOODSPEED OFFERS A LIVELY NEW HOLIDAY SHOW
    BONNIE GOLDBERG

    If you want to start a new family holiday tradition and you’re tired of watching Scrooge and his visiting ghosts and you’ve had enough dancing sugar plums and nutcrackers for a while, it might be time to consider the newest offering by Goodspeed Musicals.  A Jim Henson style Christmas show is coming Sunday, December 7 to Sunday, January 4 with the world premiere musical “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas.”
    Sure to be a classic, this delightful family production will have all the charm and whimsey Jim Henson’s famous puppets are imbued with and then some, with all the puppets and costumes being created in the Henson’s New York studio.
    It’s Christmas in Frogtown Hollow and both Emmet Otter and his Ma have visions of getting each other the most special gift possible.  A Christmas Eve talent contest is announced and each secretly enters, hoping to win the prize money to use to buy presents.  Remember “The Gift of the Magi,” when the wife and the husband give up their most precious possessions to buy the other a treasured present?  Well, this is a sweet twist on that old tale, one your children will take pleasure in seeing.
    Actors and puppets will join together on stage, with some toe-tapping numbers thrown in for good measure.  The original book was written by Russell and Lillian Hoban, with co-book writers Timothy A. McDonald of iTheatrics and Christopher Gattelli, Paul Williams music and lyrics and The Jim Henson Company.  Emmet Otter will be played by Daniel Reichard (Broadway’s Jersey Boys), Cass Morgan (Broadway’s Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast) will play Ma Otter Alan Campbell (Contact and Sunset Boulevard) will play Pa Otter and Kate Wetherhead (Legally Blond and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) will play Jane.
    According to Tim McDonald, “This show holds a beautiful lesson about how much we gain when we make a sacrifice for those we love.  It is a wonderful message for fans new and old to experience during the holidays.”  Those thoughts were expanded upon by Executive Director Michael P. Price who commented, “The magic of Christmastime in this idyllic holiday setting is the perfect backdrop for such a timeless tale.  Emmet and Ma’s story of giving is one we are excited to share with audiences.  The wonderful music, charming characters and a cast of eighteen exceptional performers will make for a festive celebration for all ages.  Looking to the future we hope Christmas at the Goodspeed Opera House will be an enduring holiday tradition.”
    For tickets ($39 children under 12, $49 adults, VIP package with premium seats and a souvenir gift are available as well as a limited number of seats at $26 with restricted view), call Goodspeed Musicals on the Connecticut River in East Haddam (exit 7 off route 9) at 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org. ; Performances are Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at  7 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on December 26 and January 2, Saturday at 2 p.m.  and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are at 2 p.m.
    Fill your Christmas stockings with merriment and joy  a little early and come see Emmet Otter and his friends celebrate the true meaning of the holiday.

This will appear in the Middletown Press on Nov. 20.

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