Theatre Review: Treasure Island

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This free adaptation from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic starts out like a rattling good yarn. We meet a mysterious stranger, who fears for his life, and carries something very precious.

(Excerpt from show)

Sounds pretty promising. But this show keeps shifting in terms of mood and texture, or perhaps we should say that someone keeps moving the goal posts. When we meet the pirates, they’re scary, not afraid to run a man through with a sword in order to get what they want. But soon, the mood changes, and the pirates start behaving like comic relief. And then everybody breaks out in song. Each of these elements is rendered well enough, but they don’t live well together under the same roof. The inconsistency is more likely to annoy adults than kids, but the very young may find a few scenes involving swordplay and death a bit intense. “Treasure Island” is at the Children’s Theatre of California through October 30.