JINGLE BELLES: SNOWED IN (Nightcap Cabaret): A fast and funny dose of musical Christmas cheer


Jenna Pinchbeck, Nate Golden, Adam Hoyak, and Amanda Jill Robinson star in Nightcap Cabaret’s JINGLE BELLES: SNOWED IN (Photo credit: Jenna P. Photography)

Jenna Pinchbeck, Nate Golden, Adam Hoyak, and Amanda Jill Robinson star in Nightcap Cabaret’s JINGLE BELLES: SNOWED IN (Photo credit: Jenna P. Photography)

Nightcap Cabaret is back by popular demand with its third annual installment of Christmas songs woven into an original narrative of fast and funny hijinks that will brighten your spirits and give new meaning to holiday cheer (which is also available in liquid form at the lobby bar during pre-show and intermission).

When the eponymous pop group’s tour bus crashes in the middle of nowhere, the high-octane singers (the terrific Nate Golden, Adam Hoyak, Jenna Pinchbeck, and Amanda Jill Robinson) find shelter in a woodland cabin with an unlocked door. As the four besties in turn become grumpy, down, and negative, the others come to the rescue to lighten their moods with wintertime activities, games, and, of course, music. As their silly bickering gives way to joyful abandon, they find the true meaning of Christmas in friendship and love, with the help of fans Ruth and Estelle (the absolutely hilarious Pinchbeck and Robinson, who nail the New-York accents, schmoozing, and kibitzing) and a magical concert-saving visit from Santa (Matthew Mastronardi, who also serves as narrator).


Photo credit: Jenna P. Photography

Photo credit: Jenna P. Photography

Under Golden’s animated direction (with the assistance of the Jingle Belles), the energetic performers maintain a rapid-fire pace through two acts of non-stop merriment and music. Flawless four-part harmonies and stellar solos (music direction by Mastronardi and Chris Burcheri) deliver a wide range of traditional Christmas carols and contemporary seasonal songs sprinkled with amusing new lyrics and enlivened by priceless facial expressions and over-the-top choreography.

The young initiative, founded in the fall of 2013 by Golden (Nightcap Cabaret’s artistic director and lead writer for the current show) and Anne Marie Scalies (the company’s producing director), specializes in single-night fundraisers and short-run musical events, so if you want to go, you only have one more chance to catch this year’s fabulous two-night holiday production. And if you’re lucky enough to score a seat, you’ll surely wish that you were snowed in overnight with this talented team!

[Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, 825 Walnut St.] December 21-22, 2015; nightcapcabaret.com.


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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.