Jim Hawkins is the teenage boy who leads noblemen and outwits a band of Pirates on a voyage to Treasure Island. But in real life the Jim Hawkins on stage through next weekend at is no gentleman. This Jim Hawkins is a young lady.
Sophomore Macy Davis to be exact. Davis leads a cast of adults with talent that is way beyond her years.
Playing across gender is hardly a theater first. Shakespeare's original productions were all-male casts. Cathy Rigby was a Broadway sensation as Peter Pan. LaCage Aux Folles scored big on the premise alone. Even so, playing a teenage boy is no small feat for an actress who Treasure Island Director Tony Fillipone describes as "an absolutely gorgeous young lady."
Davis is assisted by costuming that hides her flowing hair (until the curtain call). Behind the costume is the real talent. Davis a dedicated performer who masters the emotions and monologues of an enormous role. It's a part that requires both emotional and phsycial range that would be a struggle for many far more seasoned performers.
If for no other reason, go see this production of Treasure Island so that when she is a major Broadway star you can say 'I saw Macy Davis when she was a kid at Footlighters in Berwyn.'
Jim Fryer plays opposite Davis as Long John Silver, a murderous rouge that you can't help liking. A veteran of both Footlighters and other regional community theaters, Fryer's Long John Silver is the kind of guy you'd actually want to peel potatoes with on a long voyage (as long as you always knew where his sword is hidden).
Treasure Island runs through next weekend at Footlighters Theater in Berwyn. Performances are Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., and next Thursday-Friday at 8 p.m.. It's family-friendly, fun, affordable, community theater. And the sword fights are pretty impressive too.