Four Canadian lumberjacks, isolated in a cabin somewhere in the wilderness, are living out their dreams of becoming internet sensations with their Christmas webcast. Using webcams and laptops, they serenade their cyber audience with a broad spectrum of musical genres: barbershop, classical, hip-hop, smooth jazz, rap, glee club, rock, and many more. And just like every pop star wannabe, there are contests, merchandising, and shout outs to their loyal fans, “The Jackals.” Through it all, their warmth, charm, and quirkiness provide a big ol’ holiday bear hug loaded with traditional song favorites and fresh new melodies.
Deep in the Canadian wilderness, four lumberjacks share a remote cabin. As we begin, Hank enters from outside to find the other three (Jean-Phillipe, Thor, and Garrett) sound asleep in the dark. He snaps on the lights and shouts them awake, alerting them to the fact that their annual Christmas webcast starts in one minute. There is a mad scramble as they set up laptops and webcams and make last-minute preparations to be camera ready. As they finish their countdown, their cameras begin broadcasting as they launch into their theme song (“JingleJacks”). After introducing themselves, they welcome their fans (The Jackals) and perform a song inspired by Hank’s years as a choirboy (“O Sanctissima”). Jean-Phillippe then announces the first winner of the “JingleJacks Christmas Limericks Poetry Slam Contest.” Thor tells everyone how he was raised listening to classical music which served as the inspiration for their next piece (“Deck the Hall of the Mountain King”). The Jacks introduce a line of merchandise being made available to their followers (“The Twelve Days of JackStuff”) and take a moment to remember Thor’s recently departed Neapolitan Mastiff, Nick (“Out in the Doghouse”). After reading Garrett’s limerick contest winner, the guys give an update on their “Guess Where the Jacks are Hiding?” contest and provide their viewers with an additional clue (“The Troika”). Hank then reads his limerick winner, and the Jacks turn to a cooking competition where their contending recipes will be judged online by their fans (“The JingleJack Flapjack Flip-Off”). Once the winner is declared, they make a pitch to their viewers to send them some of their favorite treats, Tim Horton’s Donuts. This is followed by an announcement of a sneak preview of the song that they plan to feature in their first upcoming video release (“The Aurora Borealis of Your Love”). At the conclusion of this song, they hear the supply plane circling overhead that brings their weekly food supply. However, this time it delivers something they’ve been waiting for with great anticipation: the shipment of their new “JingleJacks Dates by the Dozen” calendars (“Dates by the Dozen”), featuring pinup shots of the Jacks. Thor reads his fan’s limerick entry and declares it the winner, causing a brief spat with Garrett, who is placated by singing an Irish ballad taught to him by his mother (“Oh, Santa Claus”). Next, Hank introduces a song in the barbershop style, which segues into a rap number (“Jolly Old St. Nicholas”/”Wrappin’ Up Christmas”). In a tribute to the Scottish holiday, Hogmanay, the boys present a boyband rendition of the classic New Year’s anthem (“Auld Lang Syne”). As they prepare to sign off, there is a sudden power failure and all of their equipment goes down, dropping their online feed and plunging them into total darkness. As Thor runs out to check the generator, Garrett becomes despondent and Jean-Phillippe panics, expecting Hank to solve everything, which leads to Hank’s meltdown. As silence falls across the cabin, Garrett softly begins to sing (“Silent Night”), and as the others join in one by one, Thor reenters. Although the other three are falling into despair, Thor reminds them that they still have each other as well as Christmas gifts that need to be opened. He gives his gift to Jean-Phillippe (a portrait made from pine needles, pine nuts, and seeds), who in turns give Garrett a small Christmas tree that plugs into his USB port on his computer… which of course doesn’t work without power. Garrett then gives Hank a stuffed jackal, and Hank presents Thor with his gift: a certificate indicating that a star has been named after Nick. Thor bursts into joyous tears, and Garrett expresses his wish that this moment could be shared with their fans. When Jean-Phillippe laments the broken generator, Thor announces that the generator is fine. There was a wire that the wind had blown loose and he had repaired it quickly while he was outside. In disbelief, the other Jacks race to restart the generator and reboot the online feed. Once everything is back up and running, they discover that while their feed was gone, their fans rallied and they received their one millionth hit. As they celebrate their viral status, they read several messages from avid fans, including Queen Elizabeth II. Overjoyed, they finish their webcast with heartfelt thanks and one final song, surrounded by all of their merchandise and waving the Canadian flag (“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”).
Garrett the Ferret
Setting: A late December night in the present; a darkened cabin somewhere in the Canadian wilderness.
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The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for JingleJacks includes: