This summer, audiences can sail the seven seas while learning all about the pirate code at the Cape Rep Theatre’s “How I Became a Pirate.”
The Rep is home to the only outdoor theater on Cape Cod, making their childrens' shows a fun outdoor activity for the whole family. The performing arts center was converted out of a childrens' camp, so the stage is set in the middle of a clearing. The outdoor scenery gives the theater a lot of options when it comes to interacting with the audience – when the show begins, the pirate crew comes out from the trees in a wooden rowboat, surprising the guests as they “row” through the audience. Holly Hansen, who plays chef Pierre, said that these interactive scenes are one of her favorite parts of the show.
“I like when everybody gets surprised when we come out from behind the fence,” Hansen said. “They had no idea [that was coming].”
The musical follows young Jeremy Jacob (Connor Shea), who encounters a band of pirates looking for somewhere to bury their treasure. They praise his superior digging skills and invite him to join their crew. He agrees to join them on their quest – just as long as he’s back in time for soccer practice, of course.
Shea plays a youthful and energetic Jeremy, who is curious about every aspect of the pirates’ life. In “Talk Like a Pirate,” the pirates teach Jeremy Jacob about proper pirate vernacular and “pirate manners” (which, in fact, don’t exist). In return, he shows them how to play “Soccer by the Rules,” which results in goofy chaos when the pirates can’t figure out how to follow instructions.
Anthony Teixeira has mastered the quintessential pirate accent as Captain Braid Beard and plays a confident and charismatic leader. His crew is just as engaging, including parrot-loving Max (Hannah Carrita), intellectual Swill (Jessica Georges), and a very French chef Pierre (Holly Hansen). Sharktooth (Ari Lew), the toughest pirate of the crew, stands out in a song entitled “I’m Really Just a Sensitive Guy,” breaking down his rough exterior in a funny and delightful way.
The entire cast maintains great chemistry and enthusiasm throughout the show. In “Batten Down the Hatches,” they roll around onstage as if the ship were caught in the middle of a storm, and their energy makes the whole scene convincing. They hold their younger audience members’ attention through the show with other funny songs like “Green Teeth” and references to the “poop-deck.”
Throughout the musical, the crew glorifies the “pirate’s life,” which does not include brushing teeth or doing chores. While it might seem enticing at first, Jeremy Jacob also learns that pirates also don’t get tucked in or get bedtime stories. Eventually, he returns home, promising to watch over the buried treasure until his friends return.
A family-friendly and entertaining show, “How I Became a Pirate” is a fun activity for all ages. Even parents can appreciate the many pirate puns made throughout the show (“auto-pirate” and www.pirates.arggh garnered many laughs). When the performance is over, audience members can go up to the stage and meet these not-so-fearsome pirates.
“I think my favorite part is signing autographs after and getting to meet everyone,” Shea said. “And take pictures!”
For those who don’t have their sea-legs yet, “How I Became a Pirate” is sure to deliver a swashbuckling adventure on land.
“How I Became A Pirate”
At Cape Rep Theatre, Route 6A, Brewster
Through Aug. 30, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
Information and reservations: 508-896-1888, caperep.org