Booty Island

The cast in Great American Playhouse’s “Booty Island 3-D.”

Photo by Rob Hines

Aboard yer vessel, tie off the lines, and set sail with The Great American Playhouse (GAP) as your point of destination – or for the landlubbers out there, The GAP’s newest play, “Booty Island 3-D” is an amusing and funny play worth seeing. 

The basis for the story is simple. Pirates are in search of buried treasure and they have a map that is said to take them to it. But with the possibility that they might run into a former crew member, who was left behind on the island years ago, it could foil the pirates’ plan to make a quick stop and grab the treasure.

As one would expect, in a culture sprinkled with pirates, a play about such a topic would have plenty of groaner pirate jokes such as referencing the man with a hook for his right hand as his “right-hand man” and comments like “Do yee know what a pirate’s favorite fast food is? Well, it be ARRRby’s of course.”

Along with the pirate culture for references, the play was sure to include other topical odes to shows like Gilligan’s Island and Star Trek.

“Booty Island 3-D,” which runs Thursday through Sunday from now until March 22, is filled with musical numbers, both original and known songs, all to the accompaniment of the pianist and musical director Mike Padilla, who was sure to rouse up the crowd at the beginning by reminding them it is a melodrama and people are encouraged to cheer for the “good guys” and boo for the “bad guys,” though at times the audience didn’t seem too sure who were to “good guys” and who were the “bad guys” mid-way through the play after a double-cross took place.

The play did a great job of poking through the third wall by making reference that the actors were self-aware they are only actors on a stage in Oro Valley. One on-going joke throughout the play that the audience seemed to enjoy was how uncomfortable one actor was with another actor in their personal lives and had to keep breaking character to tell the other actors how much she didn’t like working with him. 

A wonderful go with the flow mentality took place as the actors came across a young audience member, who was dressed in a pirate outfit for his birthday party. He was brought on stage and helped dance a number with the actors on the stage. Things like this help make each night appear unique and genuine within this form of entertainment.

The play did stop in its tracks when the “good guys” tried to explain and develop their characters’ backgrounds and clarify how they have dealt with their current situation. Some of the musical numbers seemed to go on a bit too long, as it appeared the message within the songs had been delivered and the length of the songs didn’t add anything more to the play. 

The play is funny, entertaining and a unique experience. The entire family can enjoy it, too, because it isn’t rated ARRRrrr.

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