Sunday, April 18, 2021

Island Theater Company presents Two Amazing February Shows



Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok and Stage 2 Improv

Walt-WilleyThe Island Theater Company is pleased to present two great shows in February at the Rose History Auditorium. Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok February 7-9,  sponsored by Porky’s Restaurant, and Stage 2 Improv, February 14 &15, sponsored by First National Bank of the Gulf Coast.

The Island Theater Company welcomes back Walt Willey for an encore performance of Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok February 7-9, sponsored by Porky’s Restaurant.

Willey, who played “Jackson Montgomery” on the long-running daytime drama All My Children for almost 25 years, had been looking for a one-man show to take on tour.  “It was serendipity, I began to research this man’s life and I was fascinated!  Even with the myth and fable surrounding him stripped away, his life is as exciting as any of the fiction written about him.  And he’s six-foot two, blonde and blue”, Willey quipped.

Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok is actor/writer Walt Willey’s tribute to fellow Illinoisian and childhood hero, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. ITC presented Wild Bill in 2011 when it was in workshop/readers format.  Since that time Wild Bill has traveled all across the country to great reviews.

The show opens as we find Hickok in the Number Ten Saloon, the site of his assassination in 1876 at thirty-nine years old.  Hickok is trapped there, between life and “whatever may await me, be it the pearly gates of Heaven or the deepest pit of Hell”.  He is convinced that if he reveals to the “excursionists” in the audience his “real story, as best and as honest as I can…that a toll may be paid and I may – finally – be ferried to that far shore”.

What follows is Hickok’s account of his life: from humble beginnings in Illinois to his times as farmer, trapper, scout, guide, sheriff, marshal and actor.  The themes of reputation, celebrity, heroism and bravery are all explored, as is Hickok’s intolerance for bullies; “I don’t like bullies…not by themselves or by the bunch.  I never was much for the stronger taking an advantage over the weaker…or standing by and a-watchin’ it happen.”

In the course of the two forty-five minute acts, Hickok regales his audience with stories of his experience with the “underground railroad”, his time in the Civil War, scouting for Custer, “that damned fool”, and his adventures with Buffalo Bill” Cody, “How he got that moniker is a mystery to me.  Took him six shots to even slow a buffaler down”, “Calamity Jane” Cannery, “Always had this odd odor about her, Jane did”, and “Colorado” Charley Utter, “Charley’s a good friend to me.  Kinda keeps my nose clean fer me, ol’ Charley does.” and how – because of his exploits – most “shootouts” in Westerns take place in the streets and a pair of aces and a pair of eights in a poker hand is referred to as “the dead man’s hand”.  Hickok talks about several of his gunfights and his times as sheriff of Hays City, KS and marshal of Abilene, KS, his love of women “and they was awful fond of me”, and his untimely end in the infamous mining camp of Deadwood.

After the presentation, there will be a short question and answer period followed by a meet and greet with Mr. Willey at Porky’s.  All patrons are invited.

The Island Theater Company production of Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok will run for three shows, Friday and Saturday, February 7th & 8th at 7:30 and a Sunday Matinee on February 9th at 2:30 pm.

The following weekend, ITC is happy to present Stage 2 Improv, sponsored by First National Bank of the Gulf Coast. Stage 2 Improv is a Naples-based improvisational theatre group featuring scenes, games and songs that are created right before your very eyes! If you liked the television show “Whose Line is it Anyway”? and the improv troop The Second City, you’ll love this!

The actors utilize information given by the audience to build the show! Every scene and game is driven by suggestions from the audience. Some games may even feature audience participation! You never know what an evening will bring, which makes each show different from the next. It’s fun – fun – fun and you won’t want to miss it.

The Island Theater Company production of Stage 2 Improv will run for two shows, Friday and Saturday, February 14th & 15th, at 7:30 pm.  No matinee for this show.

Tickets are $20 and are now on sale for both shows.  They can be purchased at Centennial Bank / 615 Elkcam Circle, or at the Marco Island Historical Society Gift Shop / 180 S. Heathwood.  Online tickets are available at  Both shows will be presented at The Rose History Auditorium, 180 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island.

Group discounts are available!  To reserve seats for a group of 10 or more, please call the Box Office at 239-394-0080 to make your reservations and receive 10% off on your order. Student groups receive additional discounts.

Additional information on Wild Bill, Stage 2 Improv and upcoming shows can be found at or LIKE their page on FACEBOOK at  ISLAND THEATER COMPANY to stay up on all the latest news.

For additional information, cast interviews, or photos regarding Wild Bill or Stage 2 Improv contact the Island Theater Company office (239) 394-0080.

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