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Pirates promise family fun
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pirate School!
David Engel, a veteran physical comedian and actor, takes to the stage as Billy Bones, pirate professor extraordinaire, when the Kaleidoscope Family Series at SUNY Fredonia presents “Pirate School!” on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Marvel Theatre.


By Douglas Osborne-Coy

Local children and their families will learn the finer points of what it takes to be a true pirate and sail the high seas when the Kaleidoscope Family Series at Rockefeller Arts Center presents “Pirate School!” on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Marvel Theatre. 

Tickets are available through the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 and online.

“Pirate School!” is described as a “madcap, swashbuckling one-man family vaudeville show.” The show is the creation of David Engel, a veteran New York physical comedian and actor. For more than 18 years now, “Pirate School!” has “enthralled, emboldened and delighted” thousands of families.

Featuring a mischievous blend of slapstick antics, magic, puppetry, zany music, special effects and plenty of boisterous audience participation, “Pirate School!” has been dubbed as “America’s premiere family-friendly pirate act.” The New York Daily News has declared “the buccaneer stops here!”

Engel is an accomplished, award-winning entertainer who performs more than 250 shows a year at theaters, festivals, libraries and corporate events nationwide. He has worked in television, commercials and film and has been seen on stages across the U.S., Europe, Singapore and China.

Engel has played for such notable companies as Steppenwolf Theater, 500 Clown and Redmoon Theatre. For 12 years, he was a “clown doctor” with the Big Apple Circus’ world renowned in-hospital Clown Care Program.

Pirate School allows kids to “live the dream of the roving swashbuckler” in a joyful, non-violent fashion. It satisfies children’s universal curiosity about the “briny buccaneers of yore” and boosts self-esteem and pro-social skills in subtle ways by prompting kids to “stand up for their mates” and “follow their hearts” and ultimately to be “more empathetic, responsible, courageous corsairs.”

During the show, the bumbling pirate professor Billy Bones, played by Engel, teaches youngsters how to be good pirates with zany lessons on how to stand, talk, sing and laugh like jaunty buccaneers.

Audiences engage in boisterous competitions and learn the finer points of light-hearted mischief while cannons boom, skulls talk, cutlasses drop, bubbles pop and pets run amok.

Recommended for ages 6 and up, “Pirate School!” is sponsored by Mark and Michelle Twichell and the Observer as part of the Lake Shore Savings Season. The show is approximately one hour in length.

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