Preview by Susan Mikula Campbell
A world premiere adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island" by Wheatfield playwright L. Don Swartz will be presented at the Ghostlight Theatre, 170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda, on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.; Feb. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.; and on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.
With a cast of 20 this new adaptation fuses historical female pirates of the era with Stevenson's fictional characters. The classic tale tells of treasure hunting while battling ferocious pirates on the high seas. True to the original, this new adaptation features characters dueling with real steel cutlasses, cannon fire and yes, someone will walk the plank, Swartz said.
"It's all a lot of fun," said Wheatfield resident Chris Fire, who plays Jim Hawkins in the swashbuckler he describes as "the Indiana Jones of its day."
Fire, an employee of Lansky Sharpeners in Tonawanda, has been involved with Ghostlight since the Christmas show "The Homecoming" in 1997.
He's working on portraying Jim Hawkins as progressing from a boy living at home with his mom to returning from his adventures as a man. Plus, he's getting quite a workout.
Although he hasn't collected any bruises yet - something not all cast members can claim - he is feeling it in his muscles. "It's a lot of climbing, jumping, running ... it's probably one of the more physical roles I've had the pleasure of playing."
Fire also has acquired a new skill - stage sword fighting. He was a week behind everyone else in practicing with a sword, because of a business trip, but he thinks he has more than made up the difference.
"In my opinion, I'm doing great! I'm ready," he said with bravado.
Fire urged everyone to join the fun with the Robert Louis Stevenson story that was the archetype for all the pirate tales to come.
Tickets for "Treasure Island" are $14 general, $12 for veterans, students and senior citizens. Reserve tickets online at http://www.starrynighttheatre.com or by calling 716-743-1614.
Pictured: Wheatfield resident Chris Fire plays Jim Hawkins and Daniel Arrasjid is Long John Silver in "Treasure Island."