September 19th was “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”. What better way to celebrate than to attend “Buccaneers” a swashbuckling pirate musical at the Children’s Theatre Company! My cousin Lyla who is ten years old came with me. Since Lyla takes acting classes at the Children’s Theatre Company I figured it would be interesting to watch her reactions and get her feedback.
“Buccaneers” is a story of a young girl, Enid Arabella whose parents have become poor. They plan to send her off to live with a distant relative but she runs away only to be captured by a mean pirate, Captain Johnny Johne (john-ay). Enid meets the other children in Johne
The show is for third graders and above which is highly understandable. “Buccaneers” deals with hard terms such as parents who make mistakes, how to become a leader, telling the truth versus lying and asking the critical question of “can we forgive those who hurt us?” ’s crew and realizes he has treated them horribly and unjustly. She comes up with a plan to overthrow him and free herself as well as the other kids.
Megan Fischer who played the lead role of Enid Arabella did a phenomenal job. Last winter I saw her in “Ragtime” which was a more subtle role. From the moment she stepped on stage in “Buccaneers” she commanded the audience. Her gestures and facial expressions captivated the crowd. Her acting was spot on and her singing was very strong for a 14 year old girl. Bradley Greenwald who played Captain Johnny Johne was cast perfectly. He is a native to the theater community and it shines through in his acting style. Although he was the villain, he had a fun side to him as well that became apparent in the second act. The kids in the audience laughed at his jokes such as “I would not break an oath for all the jam in Jamaica!” Along with his charming ability to belt out a song, he was a good dancer. The children’s ensemble worked well together. Their song about living free, as free as the birds in the air was beautiful. Lyla enjoyed seeing all the kids on stage and during the car ride home she told me what age she thought everyone was. Her three favorite characters were Johnny Johne, Tom, and Ayana.
The Children’s Theatre Company does some very cutting edge shows. They commissioned Liz Duffy Adams who wrote the script at a time when not many new shows are being produced. The music was written by Ellen Maddow and tied in well with the plot line. Mary Anna Culligan did a wonderful job with the costumes. She dressed Johnny Johne in a spectacular pirate costume that was perfect. He had a beard with dreadlocks, dark boots, short pants, and a cape. The children were poor so they were in clothes that were tattered and torn. The set which was mostly composed of a pirate ship was put together very well. Lyla pointed out all of the pieces: a plank, ladders, crows nest, wheel, and captain’s cabin.
This was yet another good production produced by the Children’s Theatre Company. The run time is just around two hours with an intermission and allows kids to think, imagine, and have fun. For more information check out:
Children’s Theatre CompanySeptember 11- October 21, 2012http://childrenstheatre.org(612) 874-0400