I personally know a Jack Sparrow impersonator - a really good one, too. So, I was a tad nervous to have to compare him with Monte Garcia's Captain Jack at the opening of Pirates of the Carabiner at the Off Broadway Theatre, but Garcia pulls it off.
Garcia has the right mannerisms, comedic timing and look for Sparrow... I mean Swallow. And the show itself isn't too bad either.
Off Broadway's parody of Pirates of the Carribean opened Friday, April 22 and will show through May 29.
The story follows Captain Jack Swallow and Will Turnbuckle (Jake Miskimins) as they chase down Captain Barbacoa, who kidnaps Will's love Isabelle Goose. Later, the pirates join forces against the evil Davey Jones and his Spongebob Squarepants-inspired crew.
The beginning is a little confusing - random chase scene, butterfly kisses, minimal background set to give a sense of place, robot pirates, water wings, wait, slow down - let me know what's going on first. And it doesn't really fall in line with the movies. Luckily animatronic Abe Lincoln (Dru Watts, who later plays Davey Jones) narrates to catch everyone up to the story.
...so that's the bad. The good includes just about everything else: costumes, makeup, jokes, music. And the audience actually does love the spoof on the actual Disneyland attraction at the beginning, even if it takes a minute to catch on.
I love Eric Jensen writing in both current and older references, from Lady Gaga to Richard Simmons and Black Swan to Little Shop of Horrors. Great jokes for the kids and parents. Oh, and the kids will get these jokes. In fact, you have to bring your kids to this show. Do not hire a babysitter. Afterall, they're Disney pirates.
I'm a big believer in purposely-cheesy equals funny, which is probably why I told everyone I know to see the theatre's last play, Phantom of the OBT. So, I absolutely love the battle scene between the Carabiner (the good guys' boat) and the Black Diamond (the bad guys' boat) in their new production. The way they simulate the cannonballs hitting the water and the subsequent shark attack is genius.
And amazingly, nobody forgets his or her lines...cough cough... Desert Star.
Overall: This show has the classic Off Broadway cheesiness to it, but sometimes you won't know what's going on and it's not for the hardcore Pirates of the Carribean fans, unless they can leave that at the door. But those are easy sacrifices to make for great laughs, pirates, music and beyond-your-expectations costumes and makeup... oh, and take the kids.