NYC Show Review: The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told! – Hysterical Improv for Kids (& their Parents)

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by Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman

When you think of a show for kids you picture kids walking into a theater, sitting down and watching what happens. In the show “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told!” the audience doesn’t merely sit back and watch, they are an integral part of the show. The performance is improv-based so everything the actors do depends on the audience’s suggestions. I recently got to watch the show at the Snapple Theater in Times Square with my kids. What did we think of a “choose-your-own-adventure” type of show? Read to find out.

The plot of the show, “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told” is simple, yet full of missing information. How is that possible? A witch leaves a scroll for a group of pirates which is actually a script for a show they have to put on so that they can win a treasure. They have to act out a story according to the script but squid ink got all over the script and there are black blotches over some key words. So the pirates have a sort of “Mad Libs” to fill in the blank. This is where the audience come in: they are asked for ideas on how to fill in the blank. From then on, the entire dialogue of the play has to do with the new information given by the audience. During the performance that I attended, the audience had to pick a name for the captain so we went with Captain Elephant. We had to decide what the ship was made of and we picked “ice”. And the pirates were stealing something: we went with “eyeballs”. The audience also had to tell the actors what the characters’ personalities were like. For example, one was always scared. Another was always hyper (he was a hoot!) pirates1

It’s really hard to explain how all of these details turned out to be hysterically funny but the show was non-stop laughter. Parents were laughing just a much as the kids as some of the jokes were geared towards the parents (i.e. Monty Python references) but nothing is really inappropriate for kids. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes and my son asked me to stop because I was so loud that he couldn’t hear.

The musical numbers are fun, too. Don’t forget, the cast is making up the lyrics as they go along, a la “Who’s Line is it Anyway”. The super-talented and incredibly witty cast are led by Christopher Leidenfrost who plays the main character and also wrote and was the original director of the show. You can never tell which of the jokes are scripted and which are part of the improv and you’re constantly wondering what they’ll say next. Because of the improv no two shows are the same and you just never know what to expect.

The show runs about an hour long and is recommended for ages 5 and up. pirates2

Where: The Snapple Theater Center
210 West 50th Street (between Broadway & 8th Ave.)
New York, NY

When: Saturdays at 11am (through December 30th)
(R-rated performances on Thursdays at 8pm)

How Much: $39-99 standard admission; $125 premium seating (plus fees)

To purchase tickets:
By phone: (212) 921-7862. You can order online here.
Box Office hours: M-Sat: 10am-6 or 8pm; Sun: 11am-7:30pm

Photos Courtesy of The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told!

I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets to the show.

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Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is the owner of Mama’s Bites and has also written for The Huffington Post. She has been living in New York City for thirteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 6, 4 and 1) and loves finding great products that make her family’s life easier.

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