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September 21, 2018
Review: Fulton’s Treasure Island Is Epic, Energetic
The Fulton Theatre presents Treasure Island. Get your tickets to this musical, running now through October 14, 2018 and enjoy an epic adventure full of danger, gold, and a bountiful amount of rum.
Parrots, palm trees, and an exciting adventure awaits at 12 N Prince Street, Lancaster!
The Fulton Theatre does ‘epic’ very well—from Les Misérables to Hunchback of Notre Dame, the sets tower over the stage, the cast consistently brings Broadway-caliber performances, and the music always matches the grandeur of each story.
Treasure Island follows the same pattern. The Fulton succeeded in raising the bar yet again with this swashbuckling, energetic adventure that’s truly epic—from the music to the set!
Based on the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, the musical features a young orphan named Jim Hawkins who stumbles upon a coveted treasure map. The antagonist, the unpredictable Long John Silver, will do anything he can to get his hands on the map and treasure that it leads to. The bulk of the story follows Jim and crew, including Silver’s band of pirates that invade the ship acting as cooks and other crewmen, as they navigate through a seafaring adventure. While Jim begins to unravel Silver’s guise, the rush for the golden treasure gains momentum to an intense and fantastic finale.
The production wastes no time jumping into adventure, with Jim discovering the old treasure map—sparking the story. After the crew is assembled, with some shady characters led by Long John Silver, the ship is ready to set sail to a dangerous destination—and the promise of glory and riches.
Jeremiah James (Long John Silver) brings a complicated and enticing aura to Long John Silver’s character. James is internationally-known for his work in a variety of off-Broadway and regional musicals, and brings that caliber of talent to his Treasure Island role. He portrays the character of Long John with a perfect magnetic charm convincingly masking some darker motivations. James hints at a hidden vulnerability in his song Someday, and brandishes his charming persona while belting an energetic Joys of Cooking.
Michael Nigro (Jim Hawkins), making his regional debut at the Fulton, does a wonderful job of blending a young innocence with a desperate desire for adventure. Nigro is known for film and TV, musical theatre, and most notably his role as Friedrich in Sound of Music LIVE on NBC. The audience quickly buys into his passion for adventure and outlook full of wanderlust. From the moment he opens the show with song Miracles, singing with a sparkle in his eyes that matches the shimmering lights swirling the stage, he plays the role of budding explorer with realism and energy. His song Wonders Of The World is especially remarkable, captivating the audience and inviting them to join his sense of adventure.
Both James and Nigro have a powerful chemistry, making their relationship feel weighted in something unique as the story unfolds and pulls the characters in a variety of confrontational directions.
The rest of the cast boasts an array of talent.
Michael Iannucci (Squire John Trelawney) is notably hilarious—bringing a sense of camp, flamboyancy, humor (and a keen sense of fashion) to the show. His banter with James Patterson (Dr. David Livesey) is both endearing and hilarious, making for added depth to the story.
One of the funniest characters of the show, and one that is played extremely well, is James Michael Reilly as Ben Gunn. Without giving too much away, this lonely Island-dweller is hilariously engaging, and wonderfully charming, all while pining for a way back home (and a bountiful amount of cheese).
The rest of the supporting cast is phenomenal. David Girolmo (Captain Alexander Smollett) brings a certain stability with his character as the ship captain as he tries to navigate challenges in more ways than one. Travis Taylor (Tom Morgan) proves to be a formidable villainous character that adds to the tension on the ship and within Silver’s own band of pirates.
Overall, the Fulton has once again curated a sensational cast with stellar talent.
The set is amazing, towering three stories tall over the stage and audience. Four different versions of a ship are used during the production, and over a mile of steel was needed to craft the intricate beams, set pieces, and designs. Watching each number was awe-inspiring when the characters navigated the depth of set on the stage, traveled over and between large rock formations, and scaled to the very top of the towering mast of the ship.
As far as the music is concerned, it was upbeat, adventurous, and perfectly matched the tempo of the show thanks to the 17-piece live orchestra. The original music was created by Fulton Theater Art Director Marc Robin, ensuring this experience is exclusive to the Fulton audience!
There was a lot of hype surrounding the fight scenes—the Fulton hired an experienced fight choreography group to create the realistic battle sequences in the show—and the payoff was incredible. Each sequence felt seamless, real, and altogether fascinating to watch. The characters engaged in breathtaking battles that transported the audience to the heart of the conflict—a true feat for any stage production.
Will young Jim Hawkins find his adventure he has so longed for? Will Long John Silver succeed in his mutinous motivations and find the treasure for himself? Will poor Ben Gunn ever get his cheese?
Get your tickets and prepare for a wild ride through churning seas and cursed islands with Fulton’s Treasure Island! What are you waiting for? Set sail through this musical adventure from now until October 14. You ready for this dangerous seafaring adventure and, of course, lots of pirates with their rum?
Get your tickets to Treasure Island and embark on a swashbuckling epic you don’t want to miss.
Show directed by Marc Robin, co-directed by Curt Dale Clark. Discover more about the crew, designers, and more, on the website.