Review: Encore Stage & Studio’s Production of Jingle ARRGH the Way!

What do you get when you cross hilarious pirates with Christmas? The perfect family holiday show: Encore Stage and Studio’s production of “Jingle ARRGH the Way!” What? When you think of the holidays, you don’t automatically think of pirates? I’m not sure I did either, but after seeing Santa singing and dancing with some of the theater’s swashbuckling best, my idea of Christmas has been changed forever!

If you and your family are looking to laugh, clap and sing your way into the holidays, then this is a theater experience you and the kiddos (ages 4 and up) cannot miss. I say experience because this is participatory theater at its best. I was lucky enough to catch a matinee performance this past Sunday and I brought along my two cousins and my grandmother; we all agreed that “Jingle ARRGH the Way!” was the perfect start to the holiday season.

What we loved most about this performance was that it is a play for kids played by kids! It’s also jam-packed with comical kid-humor, fast-paced and fun choreography and clever and catchy songs. The young performers kept the audience — adults and children alike — captivated and thoroughly engaged throughout. And, not only were we all cracking up inside the theater, but my little group laughed all the way home, as well!

Based on the story by Melinda Long, “How I Became a Pirate,” the story follows the imaginative Jeremy Jacobs from North Beach who is summed by his singing pirate friends as they seek to uncover the truth behind a mysterious map. It turns out (spoiler alert), that the map was sent to the pirates by none other than Santa, himself, all the way from the North Pole. The pirates and Jeremy find adventure and more as they sail to the North Pole in their quest to uncover the map’s truths. Learning about, and ultimately, figuring out, the meaning behind the map allows Jeremy and his friends to discover that giving is the true treasure of Christmas.

If you love the holidays and are looking for a fun-for-the-whole family theater experience with a unique twist, purchase your tickets now to see Encore Stage and Studio’s “Jingle ARRGH the Way!”

The show’s run-time is 1 – 1 /2 hours with a 15-minute intermission. Performances run Fridays- Sundays, Nov. 30–Dec. 9, 2018 at the Gunston Arts Center, Theater One 2700 S. Lang St. Arlington, VA. Tickets: $15 Adults, $12 Children, Students, Military and Seniors and are available online at or by calling the box office at 703-548-1154.

Mealy Cronin is an eighth-grader at Westminster School in Annandale, VA. A child-performer herself, Mealy is an enthusiastic fan of the theater, especially musical theater, and hopes to have the opportunity to view and review many more of these great Encore Stage and Studio shows!


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