TREASURE ISLAND, by David Warrack, directed by Sean Wayne Doyle, with Brice Bunn, Daniel Levinson, Phi Bulani, Paul Ciglen, Mary Lynn Culbert, Kyle Morin and Glenn Walsh. Presented by Stark Naked Mad at Young People's Theatre (165 Front East). Runs to August 27, Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 7 pm. $15, child $10. 910-0559. Rating: NN
Shiver me timbers. There's not much theatrical loot in David Warrack's musical adaptation of Treasure Island.
Expanded from last month's Fringe version, this 80-minute show condenses the classic tale's narrative, leaving unfortunate gaps, but still captures the characters' fascination with gold and adventure.
The animated cast makes up in broad, energetic performances what Sean Wayne Doyle's direction lacks in finesse. The two key roles -- Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver -- are vividly created, Brice Bunn's Jim is believably fixated in his excitement about pirates and treasure. Daniel Levinson (Silver), saddled by Warrack with a few too many "Aarghs," has the strongest presence and singing voice.
Stiff limb But had prosthetics advanced so far in the 18th century that Silver can have an ordinary-looking if stiff limb instead of a peg leg?
What I miss most in this adaptation is the relationship between Silver and Jim. Warrack limits his figures to two dimensions, and even the warmth and fun of the audience interaction doesn't create much viewer concern for the characters.
The music is a mixed and pretty conservative bag, with highlights including a vaudevillian soft-shoe-style number and a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song. Some of the melodies serve no clear purpose -- a few lines of dialogue would do better, and move the tale along more effectively.