Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8 a.m.
Bradley Greenwald and Megan Fischer.
Photo by Dan Norman
Avast! Yo ho ho! Um, piece of eight! Arrrrghhhhh! Okay, enough talking like a pirate for today's Talk Like a Pirate celebrations
. Let's look at a pirate-themed play currently up at the Children's Theatre Company.
is a handsome production, full of daring-do adventures, comedy, drama, and even a bit of a civics lesson on the nature of government. It turns on a terrific performance from Bradley Greenwald as the vile Captain Johnny Johne and moves along at a solid clip from beginning to end.
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About Greenwald. He's decked out in full pirate regalia (crafted by Mary Anna Culligan) and sporting a cephalopod-like beard that seems to have a life of its own. Johnny is a man possessed -- full of dreams of plunder atop of plunder. He's also a very mad manager, terrorizing his young crew, and -- it is said, but not shown -- killing them off when they get too old and can challenge his authority.
He meets his match in Enid Arabella (Megan Fischer), a young girl about to be sent off to a boarding school in vaguely Victorian England because her parents are too poor to take care of her. (No, I don't understand the logic either, maybe she's a charity case.) She dreams of adventure, and soon finds herself stuck on board the ship, facing death at every turn.
Enid is also extremely clever, and manages to liberate the crew and send Johnny to his seeming death. Instead of becoming a new Pirate Queen, she instead convinces the remaining youngsters to form a new leadership -- one that looks very much like a democracy. Can it work? And can she get all of her friends back to their homes? And what of the evil pirate, and Enid's parents, who are chasing the action?
Well, you can guess how it turns out, but it is a lot of fun getting there. And there is some time for darkness and humor along the way, as the pirates fight and sing as if they were from Penzance. As noted, Greenwald is the main attraction here, but the handsome sets (beautifully designed by Joel Sass), choreography (from Joe Chvala), and generally solid acting from the company (though Fischer's mushy-mouthed accent was a bit distracting) make for smooth sailing throughout.
IF YOU GO:
Now through October 21
Children's Theatre Company
2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis
For information, call 612.874.0400 or visit online.