PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "Ahoy, Matey!" Behind the Scenes With Treasure Island Musical Star Kristy Cates
By Matthew Blank
Arkansas Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of Treasure Island — A New Musical. Sole female aboard the ship, Kristy Cates (Wicked on Broadway), takes readers behind the scenes as the company sails through opening night in Little Rock.
The cast includes Logan Rowland as Jim Hawkins, Richard B. Watson as Long John Silver, Christopher Carl as Captain Smollett, Michael Thomas Holmes as Squire Trelawney, David Hess as David Livesey, Kristy Cates as Mother Hawkins, Eric Gunhus as Pew/Job, Patrick Richwood as Ben Gunn/O'Brien, Greg Butler as Israel/Black Dog, Cleavant Derricks as George Merry, Mark Campbell as Abraham Gray and Matthew Farcher as Dick.
The musical, which is adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, features a book by Smock and Carla Vitale and music and lyrics by Corinne Aquilina.
"Bored by his mundane life tending to patrons at the Admiral Benbow Inn, young Jim Hawkins yearns for adventure and a life beyond his window," according to press notes. "When Billy Bones, a drunken, surly old sea captain, becomes a long-term boarder at the Inn, Jim is entranced by his wild tales of life at sea with the infamous Captain Flint. Jim’s wish is soon granted when members of Flint’s cutthroat crew come to claim 'what’s theirs' – the coveted treasure map hidden in Bones’ mysterious sea chest. When Bones dies in a struggle for the map, Jim narrowly escapes with his life and Bones’ prized possession. Jim seeks advice and protection from the nobleman Squire Trelawney and family doctor David Livesey who decide to outfit a majestic ship – the Hispaniola. With a sturdy crew in place, hired by the duplicitous rogue Long John Silver, and led by the stoic Captain Smollett, the group sets sail in search of their fortunes. Greed escalates, mutiny divides the crew and loyalties are forever broken. Armed and hungry for treasure, the camps arrive where 'X' marks the spot. Will they find the treasure? And if so, at what cost?"
"This thrilling tale introduces us to a young boy caught up in a world not of his making, a world of greed and betrayal,” said Robert Hupp, producing artistic director of Arkansas Repertory Theatre, in an earlier statement. “With a fresh new take on the famous story that defined the idea of adventure, this production shines anew as we all embark on the journey.”
The creative team also includes set designer Stanley A. Meyer, costume designer Rafael Castanera, lighting designer Dan Ozminkowski, fight choreographer DC Wright, music director Corinne Aquilina and orchestrator/arranger Frederick Alden Terry.
For more information visit www.therep.org or www.treasureislandthemusical.com.
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