Milesville comedy "Jolly Roger: King of the Pirates" full of mistaken identities, family fun

Aaargh, nobody tries to impersonate me ... The Milesville play, Jolly Roger: King of the Pirates, is full of characters ... real zany characters. Shown is Jolly Roger (Jim Stangle) trying to run-through opposing first mate Nate (Sam Stangle), while Captain Cleverly (Jared Doud) stays out of harms’ way. Actors in back, from left, are: Lori Quinn, Dusti Berry, Nina Pekron and (yes) Kelly Blair.

This year the Milesville play is doing things differently. And in this case, different may be a very good thing for the audience.

The stage for the comedy "Jolly Roger: King of the Pirates" has been built out from the permanent stage. The prow of the good ship Blue Walrus is 12 feet wide and extends 16 feet in front of the curtains. Audience members will be seated on three sides of the stage, rather than just in front of it.

This puts more of the audience right up front for the sword fights, infatuation scenes, chase scenes and the swaggering of the pirates.

"The actors have gotten used to it. It might be more interesting to the audience," said director Jodi Parsons.

Also new this year is the play will be performed for only one weekend. Performances will be Friday, March 7th, at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 8th, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, March 9th at 2:00 p.m. The play will be performed at the Milesville Hall. Traditionally, the Milesville Volunteer Fire Depart-ment will sponsor a fundraiser soup meal at the Evangelical Free Church at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Also new is that the performance itself is only one act in length, rather than two or three. Parsons said that some audience members have thought previous plays, though done very well, were a bit long. To add variety, each performance will have a different specialty opening act.

The Blue Walrus, captained by cowardly Captain Cleverly and owned by Lady Loveaduck, has been staying as far from the dreaded pirate ship the Albatross. For years, the cowardly hero, Captain Cleverly, has evaded capture by the dreaded pirate Jolly Roger by sailing directly behind him (thus almost a world away, unless the Albatross turns around).

Now, Jolly Roger, King of the Pirates and Scourge of the Seven Seas, has found Cleverly and is coming aboard his ship to marry the only woman who might even think of having him, Lady Loveaduck. With overlapping mistaken identities, sword fights, infatuations and a surprise ending, these pirates will keep the audience entertained.

Captain Cleverly, played by Jared Doud, is a Captain Jack Sparrow wanna-be. His young first mate, Sam Stangle, is mistaken by the other characters for the feared Jolly Roger.

Seaman Dick, played by Kelly Blair, is dumb enough to be forced by his scared fellow crewmen into impersonating Annabelle, the female first mate of the pirate ship. Those good buddies are played by Hugh Harty, Glenn Hovland and Ed Morrison.

The shrewish Lady Loveaduck, played by Lori Quinn, is being forced to marry Jolly Roger to keep the peace. Margaret, her vampish spit-fire maid, as played by Dusti Berry, has a crush on any man who has good breeding. In this crew, that could be a problem, so she does keep one eye open toward Nate.

Jolly Roger, King o' the Pirates, is played by Jim Stangle. Remember that he looks a bit like Nate. He has no clue that his first mate Annabelle, played by Nina Pekron suddenly falls for Captain Cleverly, and vice versa.

If all the love interests and impersonations are confusing, that is half of the fun. What ever you do, beware any stray pinky rings.

Lights and sound are done by Tina Staben, the stage was done by Kelly Blair and Vonda Hamill, and the costumes are done by Connie Parsons.

Audience participation is encouraged, so come see Jolly Roger (aaarg) King of the Pirates.