Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1881 classic gets a high-energy adaptation in Lifeline’s season opener. Young Jim Hawkins (Warren Weber, holding his own with the vets) falls in with murderous pirates and sets sail in search of long-buried gold, foiling double- and triple-crosses along the way.
Lifeline’s technical excellence is on board: Geoff Coates’ fight choreography is inventive and well-executed; Alan Donahue’s multi-level set transforms easily from pub to ship to island fort. Branimira Ivanova’s costumes capture the grimy foppishness of the era.
The script’s second act gets bogged down by stand-offs and switched allegiances, but Robert Kauzlaric’s direction doesn’t allow too much downtime. The ensemble occasionally rushes laugh lines in John Hildreth’s frequently funny adaptation; more time in front of big audiences will cure that. Sean Sinitski’s charming, amoral Long John Silver cons and kills without compunction; John Ferrick steals his scenes with bombast and villainy. It’s a fun high-seas adventure for everyone. (Lisa Buscani)
Treasure Island, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Avenue, (773)761-4477, through November 1.