Red Branch Theatre Company’s “Jingle Arrgh the Way,” a Christmas pirate adventure, is presently playing at the Drama Learning Center in Columbia, Maryland until December 21, 2019. Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman did the Book, Music and Lyrics based on an original story by Melinda Long. Ayesis Clay is the Director and Dustin Merrell is Musical Director.
If you are looking to take the kids to a unique, live, theatrical production, you don’t have to look any further than this small theatre in Howard County. This is an adventure that will lift your holiday spirits.
The storyline follows Jeremy Jacob (Lauren McKenna) who, while he plays with is toy pirates, imagines they come to life and take him on an adventure. This time they travel to the North Pole where they meet Santa (Merrell). The pirates are led by Braid Beard, their captain (Katie Rey Bogdan). The crew includes Pierre, a chef (Rose Hahn), Sharktooth (Theodore Sapp) complete with eye patch, Max (Bryan Thompson) who sports a parrot on his shoulder and Swill (Quincy Vicks) who spouts lots of useful and not so useful information.
This is an adventure that will lift your holiday spirits.
The cast is extremely experienced and talented. Although this is a kids’ show, they are all adults. The whole group has wonderful voices and can even dance. The pirates do a nice little jig at one point. Some of the standout songs were, “A Very Strong Wit” which had a calypso beat, “Dribble” a song about basketball that was wonderfully choreographed and “I’m a Star” with Sapp singing lead in a marvelous baritone.
Clay’s direction is quite good. She uses the small stage and even parts of the aisles keeping the action flowing and lively. Merrell’s musical direction creates many fine harmonies and makes even some of the cornier songs vocally interesting.
The scenic design by Jimmy Engelkemier nicely filled the stage and made the pirate ship seem real. The choreography by Sarah Luckadoo and Ayesis Clay deftly moved the performers around and seemed impeccable. The pirate’s costumes and Jeremy’s costumes were bright and interesting as designed by Stefany Thomas. Lynn Joslin’s lighting design complemented the set and the action.
The day I saw the show there were not many children in the audience. This probably affected the actors’ performances as there are obviously times when they were supposed to interact with the children, and those scenes seemed a bit awkward. Otherwise, this is a fun show for kids, and adults will enjoy the masterful singing and dancing as well as the plays on words.
Running Time: One hour and 10 minutes. No Intermission.
“Jingle Arrgh the Way” will be playing until December 21, 2019, presented by Red Branch Theatre Company, at The Drama Learning Center, 9130-I Red Branch Road, Columbia, MD 21045. There are some special events planned as well including Parents’ Night Out Pajama Party from 7-10 pm on Dec. 20, Post-Show Santa Sightings following 11 am performances and Post-Show Meet and Greet with the Cast following 2 pm performances. For more information and tickets contact RBTC website.