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Pick a Pack of Pirates

The real heyday for pirates was 1764-1856 but they're still capturing our imaginations and hearts. Kids love that Captain Hook, Long John Silver and Jack Sparrow of "Pirates of the Caribbean," have no manners, no scruples and no day jobs. And somehow these desperadoes always seem to have a rollicking time and a knack for getting people to do their bidding. Maybe that's also why kids want to imitate them. Downtown Cabaret exploits pirates' unparalleled popularity in its production "The Witch of Pirate Island." The show brings out a boatload of famous pirates, mixes in some wretched witches and seasons with a soupcon of pie-eating rats. (Yup, you heard that right.)

The audience doesn't just sit around and watch the unholy shenanigans, either. Their safety is at stake because they're passengers on a Caribbean cruise ship and the cruise director needs to run through some safety drills with them before they shove off. Once at sea, all goes swimmingly until wham! a giant storm grabs the ship and lands it on a deserted island. Mayhem ensues, the kind that involves pirates, witches and rats with the aforementioned all engaging in substantial swashbuckling, parades and a surprise rescue.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys, "The Witch of Pirate Island" will likely give your kids more ammo to fire their love of pirates. Maybe pie-eating rats too. Performances are Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7 at noon and 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.50. To buy tickets, call (203) 576-1636. For more information, visit Downtown Cabaret's website .

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