July 5, 2008

Learn Lessons From Pirates at LifeHouse Theater


Staff Writer

REDLANDS - LifeHouse Theater's musical "Treasure Island" is the perfect play for the family, especially if you want your children exposed to morals when they are growing up.

Though the pirates are eerie, and Jim's family a bit cheery, be ready for something that has slowly been going away - life lessons through entertainment.

The beginning lacked luster, and it was a bit scary to think the rest of the play could be a bit too fake, but as the pirates took the stage, the show took a turn.

The actors did a fantastic job at showing the true colors of the characters in the book, and you literally felt you were inside the story.

The unique part of LifeHouse's adaptation of "Treasure Island" is that Christian morals are not slightly, but clearly shown throughout the entire play. It was enough to make you think, but the references were not overdone.

The story of Jim Hawkins, played by Ben Johnson, in "Treasure Island" was the story of a young boy engrossed in a tale of pirates as he cleans his mother's and aunt's seaside inn. A pirate captain shows up with his treasure map, and more pirates show up ready to kill and stir up trouble.

After the pirates are scared off, Jim becomes the proud owner of the captain's treasure map and gathers some friends and family to recover the treasure. They end up being led to more pirates who lead a coup within a coup on the ship.

The captain of the pirates, Long John Silver, is softened by Jim's values and trust in God. He then decides to do something differently.

Ben Johnson is an amazing kid with curly brown hair and wide smiles. His act of wonder was entrancing.

Long John Silver was played by John Schwartzkopf, who was believable as the character who would smile at you one minute and kill you the next.

Overall, I would say LifeHouse Theater's moral version of "Treasure Island" is excellent. The lessons will tug on the hearts of all ages, and it is a good, wholesome night of frights and laughs in this pirate tale.

Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:15 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2:15 p.m. Sundays, through July 20. There is one Thursday evening performance, at 7:30 p.m. July 17. at 7:30.

LifeHouse Theater is at 1135 N. Church St., Redlands. Information: (909) 335-3037

E-mail Staff Writer Miranda C.R. White at [email protected]

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