Review: Pocket Sandwich Theatre’s "Captain Blood"

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Shawn Stalter

  • Dallas/Ft. Worth Contributing Critic

Dallas’ intimate dinner theater venue, the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, recently served up a lively dish of sea-salty swashbuckling action with “Captain Blood-The Pirate Melodrama”.

This three-act comedic spoof play, written by one of the theatre’s late founding fathers, Joe Dickinson, and directed by Michael Speck, takes the audience on an energetic high sea swashbuckling adventure with lively song and dance, sword fights, and, of course, pirate mischief and romance.

The story follows the misadventures of a band of half-witted salty sea dog pirates led by the infamous and charismatic Captain Blood. Kidnapping and ransom places this band of mischievous thugs in direct confrontation with a cunning group of privateers. Slapstick hilarity ensues. The play opens with a hearty round of nautical sing-alongs with the cast including such maritime classics as “What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?”, and “Row Row Row Your Boat”.

While the rapid-fire barrages of pirate-themed one-liners didn’t always completely weigh anchor with the audience, Captain Bartholomew Blood, as played by Matthew Doden, was a direct hit with all in the room. Other notable performances in this talented theatrical troupe include Lauren Hearn as Bess Cutter and Jake Shanahan as Peter Waxend. Talented costume designer, Sarah Hearn, crafted some genuinely imaginative, rich and vibrant textures to help this cast immerse themselves in their roles as pirates, admirals and mermaids, oh my. The nautical scenery design was well-envisioned by set designer Rodney Dobbs, and played a suitable host to the diverse locales for this theatrical journey.

Since this was one of the theatre’s highly-coveted “popcorn-thrower” performances, even those unable to keep pace with the nuances of the storyline delighted themselves, and those around them, by firing ample broadsides of popcorn at the performers and each other. This audience interaction was the catalyst for some truly hilarious moments of improvisational comedic genius by this talented group of performers.

Overall, this is an exciting and engaging night-about town in Dallas perfect for some light-hearted theater with a side of casual dining. If pelting grog-guzzling pirates with popcorn is on your bucket list, then go ahead and heave-to and set sail for Pocket Sandwich’s website to reserve your seat. https://www.pocketsandwich.com/, or hail them at (214) 821-1860.