‘Treasure Island’ takes stage at Gig Harbor’s Paradise Theatre

The Robert Louis Stevenson classic features an experienced cast and a few swashbuckling surprises

Staff writerApril 23, 2014 

Robyn McGilvrey, playing Jim Hawkins, battles with Sam Elston, as Israel Hans, in Paradise Theatre’s production of ‘Treasure Island.’ The show is an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic.

PARADISE THEATRE/COURTESY PHOTO

Buccaneers, Black Spots and buried gold have come to the stage at Gig Harbor’s Paradise Theatre.

Starting last weekend, the featured show is “Treasure Island,” sporting a cast of experienced actors and actresses. Set in 1775 and stretching from the Devon coast in England to the West Indies, it tells the tale of adventures on the high seas, blurring the line between hero and villain.

At the heart of the tale is young Jim Hawkins, played by Robyn McGilvrey. She is the narrative peg for the audience to follow. McGilvery has starred in previous Paradise productions, and she said she likes this staging because it’s fun to be a little bit wild.

“Pirates are rowdy,” she said. “It’s a rowdy show.”

Those rowdy pirates are available after the show to toss children and children-at-heart off the Hispaniola, the ship in “Treasure Island.” A big splash comes over the speakers as the willing victims land on a mattress pad.

One of “Treasure Island’s” most memorable players is the pirate Long John Silver. He’s at the heart of Stevenson’s coming-of-age tale. He’s played by Ian Lamberton, who most recently performed in Paradise Theatre’s “Dracula.”

Lamberton has been acting since 2008. He caught the bug after telling his children they should get involved in the theater. They flipped the tables on their father and told him to get involved.

“They said ‘live through yourself,’ ” he recalled.

At Paradise, Lamberton found like-minded people eager to perform. He’s enjoying “Treasure Island’s” run.

“It’s been, in some respects, the most together play I’ve been in,” he said. “There’s no dull moments.”

McGilvrey said that what makes Paradise, and this production, special is the cast.

“We all have different day jobs and get to come here and be crazy together,” she said. “You’ve got people that want to be in (the play).”

Troy Turnley stars as Squire Trelawney. For those whose exposure to the tale is the popular Muppets version, Turnley is Fozzie Bear, he said.

Turnley majored in vocal music in college. Performing at Paradise keeps him sharp.

“It’s a way for me to use what I learned in college,” he said.

Gary Fetterplace pulls double-duty as Captain Flint and Dr. Livesay. Fetterplace has a distinction in the performance: He’s British. His accent is authentic.

He isn’t on stage long as the rugged and dangerous pirate Captain Flint, but that character sets the story in motion. If it weren’t for his buried treasure, Fetterplace said, none of it would happen.

The version of “Treasure Island” the group is performing is about eight years old. It is an adaptation by playwright Ken Ludwig.

Jeff Richards, director, praised the script.

“This version is a lot of fun, it’s a great adaptation of the story,” Richards said.

The show runs through April 27. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $7 for seniors and military; and $10 for students on the main floor. Mezzanine seats are $2 extra.

A special dinner theater show, featuring a three-course meal, will be Saturday. Tickets are $40 for adults; $34 for seniors and military; and $25 for students.

Raffle tickets are available, too. At stake is a handmade cedar box filled with Pirate booty, including a copy of “Treasure Island.”

Paradise Theater, 9911 Burnham Drive, will next stage “Shrek the Musical” from June 20 to July 6.

For ticket information, call 253-851-PLAY or go to paradisetheatre.org.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155 karen.miller@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_karen

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