MOUNT VERNON — This Friday at the Knox County Memorial Building Theater MTVarts will once again hoist the Jolly Roger and sail off to adventure with “How I Became a Pirate,” the musical the entire family will enjoy.
Director Bruce Jacklin said it’s a funny and interactive show, with the action taking place in the aisles as well as on stage.
“It’s your own pirate adventure, you’re not just a spectator, you’re a participant in the show,” Jacklin said.
Based on the popular book series by Melinda Long, the musical is about a child who joins up with a band of friendly, bumbling pirates. Young Jeremy (Eli Wilson) is playing at the beach with his family when the pirates notice what a good digger he is. They need someone to help them bury their treasure, so they recruit Jeremy to join their band. Jeremy discovers that adventuring can be lots of fun, but also learns that love and home are treasures that can’t be found on any map.
The pirates’ leader, Capt. Braid Beard, is Joseph Bell, a role he is reprising from the 2013 production which was co-directed by JJ House.
“Think the skipper from ‘Gilligan’s Island,’” Jacklin said. “He really tries to command his pirates, but he’s so bumbling that he’s less authoritative and more lovable.”
The pirate crew also includes Shawn Barrett as Pierre, whom Jacklin described as “Louis XIV meets Pepe Le Pew”; Michael Andrews as first mate Seymour Braunschwagger; and Nick Zarley as Sharktooth, who tries to be dark and menacing with his pirate eye patch, but is “really just a sensitive guy.” Ian Fraser Ernsberger is the Scottish pirate Max, who carries around a stuffed parrot he doesn’t realize isn’t real. Kevin Barry plays Scurvy Dog, the ship’s second mate, and Aaron Moreland is a mad-scientist type named Swill. Jeremy’s parents are real life married couple Jay and Kerri Mahan.
“The show will be as fun for adults as it is for children,” Jacklin said, “because while it’s a children’s story, there are plenty of pop-culture jokes for parents to enjoy. And besides, who doesn’t want to play on a pirate ship?”
“How I Became a Pirate” opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. and follows with 2 performances on Saturday a 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Guests are encouraged to come in costume and get a chance to take a bow on stage 15 minutes before the show. Reserved seating tickets are available online at MTVarts.com, at First-Knox National Bank Public Square and Blackjack Road offices, or may be purchased at the door.
A discount is available for those purchasing tickets for “How I Became A Pirate” and “Lion King Jr” which runs Sept. 22-24. Choose the package button at www.mtvarts.com or ask at the bank.