‘Treasure Island’ offers surprise treats at Long Beach Playhouse

TREASURE ISLAND
Sundays through May 6. Anaheim St., Long Beach. Preview show 8 p.m. When: Opens 8 p.m. April 8. Shows are 8 p.m. Where: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Information: 562-494-104 or www.lbplayhouse.org. Tickets: $10 for preview, $27 opening night, $14-$24 thereafter. April 7.

“I think it makes it a lot more interesting.” It certainly makes things better for the story, too, says Erik Celso Mann, who plays Long John Silver.“We kind of hype that up in the story, showing how women are equally strong or even better than men,” he said. It’s just stretching history a little but not a whole lot,” Jones said. While Willmott’s adaptation stays true to the classic tale, this time there are just as many women pirates as there are men. “There were women pirates back then, so it wasn’t an usual thing. “The deadliest pirate in this play is a female, and you wouldn’t want to mess with her.”

This familiar tale, presented by the swashbucklers at the Long Beach Playhouse, has a bit of a twist.“If they’re familiar with the story, I hope they say this was a great way of telling that story,” said Dale Jones, who is directing Phil Willmott’s 2005 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century classic “Treasure Island.”The play opens April 8 on the Playhouse’s Mainstage Theater and runs through May 6.The high-seas tale follows 14-year-old Jim Hawkins, a treasure map and his quest for adventure aboard the Hispaniola along with Long John Silver and his band of pirates. Ahoy, mateys! A pirate’s tale is coming to Long Beach.But shiver me timbers!

Mann will look extra cool when he plays Long John Silver, because he’ll be sporting a solid pirate beard that he grew even before he got the part. Months before even hearing about the play, the Long Beach resident decided to start growing a beard, and it was already pretty long when he heard about the show.“I was a the doctor’s office and I looked up just thinking, ‘God give me a role that fits what I look like now.’ Then I saw the ad (for auditions) as I said that on my phone,” he said with a laugh.

The pirate costumes are really cool, too.” The lead role of Jim Hawkins also went to a female, who at the age of 12 is already a company veteran. “I get to play with like swords and stuff, and it’s a really cool set,” she said. Carmel Artstein, who appeared as Tiny Tim in the 2015 production of “A Christmas Carol,” will portray a boy again when she takes on the role of Jim.For Artstein the play is fun on many levels, in particular because she’s in the middle of a pirate adventure. “I’ve seen the costumes.