February 15th, 2010 · No Comments
PAWTUCKET: Frank O’Donnell’s Notfanuttin Players present “BLACKBEARD’S BOOTY” – an interactive comedy dinner show – on Saturday, February 27 at Hose Company Number 6 on Central Avenue.
“It’s very loosely scripted and even more loosely directed,” said O’Donnell, a local comedian who wrote the show five years ago. “A few of us got together to talk about show opportunities, and someone said, ‘We should do a pirate show.’ It just grew from there.”
O’Donnell did a little bit of research on Rhode Island’s pirate history and piracy in general, and came up with the concept. “Blackbeard was one of the most feared and colorful pirates of his time. To many, he was considered the king of the pirates. Using that as our basis, we come together to elect a new pirate king.”
The cast of characters has some basis in history:
- Sir Francis Drake was a privateer – a pirate given a license to steal by his government;
- Thomas Tew, a pirate from Newport, was considered the Robin Hood of the High Seas;
- Mary Read was a woman forced to disguise herself as a man in order to be allowed onto a pirate ship; and
- Captain Henry Morgan was a well-know pirate turned pirate-hunter.
“These are the three candidates for Blackbeard’s throne. Whoever wins the throne wins Blackbeard’s booty,” said O’Donnell. “The audience decides who the new king will be, based on how good a job the candidates do of winning their votes.”
The troupe performed the show a number of times between 2005 and 2006, and won Motif Magazine’s Theater Award for Best Interactive Show in 2006. “One of our best shows was aboard the Bay Queen during a hurricane,” says O’Donnell. “It was the remnants of a storm that had hit the south a few days earlier, but it still had lots of driving rain and caused 7-foot swells in Newport. I didn’t think anyone would show up – but we had 110 reservations, and 100 people came out.”
After a three-year hiatus, O’Donnell decided to once again present the show. “I’ve added a few new elements to keep it fresh. Because the show is partially improvised, we never do the same show twice. We have no idea what each audience will bring, and that’s what makes this so much fun.”
Show time is 6:30PM, and the show begins the minute the first audience member walks in the door. The show’s four acts are punctuated by the serving of dinner, during which the cast interacts with the audience members individually. Full bar service is available. Tickets are $40. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 401.722.7220.
“This is the type of show best enjoyed by a group of friends – we work very well with tables of four and six,” says O’Donnell. “But all group sizes are welcome.”
Prizes are awarded to the audience members judged to have the best pirate costumes – not to worry, coming in costume is optional, not required.
For further details, email O’Donnell at email@example.com.