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Best Musical Ever: ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ Coming to the Stage

Courtesy of the Jim Henson Company

Christmas in May: The Jim Henson Company announces that classic 1979 Muppet special Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is being adapted into a stage musical. Paul Williams, who wrote the score for the original, will add new songs, and Tony-nominated South Pacific choreographer Christopher Gattelli will direct. News comes as no surprise to careful readers who saw Gattelli bragging about the project in his Playbill bio, but who can blame him? This is, no lie, the best theater announcement in a long time; we’re looking forward to seeing the Riverbottom Nightmare Band in its full glory. [Playbill]

Cryer, Macy Wear Shorts: Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, and James Spader join the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s family comedy Shorts. Film will be shot Spy Kids–style by Rodriguez and will follow the adventures of an 11-year-old living in a bland suburb whose life is turned upside down. Not literally, although it is likely that at some point in the film Macy will find himself upside down, possibly in boxer shorts. [Variety]

Green Greets Your Highness: David Gordon Green will direct Your Highness, a screenplay by Danny McBride and Ben Best set to star McBride as an arrogant prince who must save his father’s kingdom. Green’s connection to a sword-and-sorcery comedy suggests he’s pretty much done with quiet, personal art films, but we can’t be certain until he signs a deal with Jerry Bruckheimer. [Variety]

King Will Be Back: Sex and the City writer-director Michael Patrick King signs a first-look deal with DreamWorks, giving the studio the first crack at his next screenplay, which King describes as a deconstructed romantic comedy. Expect Variety to claim that male DreamWorks execs would rather be dragged naked over a huge pile of thumbtacks than read the script once it’s delivered. [Variety]

Strange Days: T-shirt icon turned comic-book heroine Emily the Strange is being prepared for feature-film adaptation, with the character’s designer, skateboarder turned T-shirt impresario Rob Reger, drafting the story. Dark Horse Entertainment will produce; choice of director will determine whether film is animation or live-action. As far as T-shirt-to-film adaptations go, this beats the Big Johnson movie we’ve been terrified will get green-lit for years. [HR]

Trio Get Vain: Broadway welcomes Vanities, a musical adaptation of the regional-theater favorite about three female friends as they change from high-school cheerleaders to independent women. The show is planned for the fall after a successful run in Palo Alto and an upcoming production in Pasadena. Show will give three newish Broadway actresses a shot, starring Lauren Kennedy, Sarah Stiles, and Anneliese van der Pol. [Playbill]

Best Musical Ever: ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ Coming to the Stage