Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Archive for June, 2013

The Heart of Robin Hood (2013)

Marion (Kate Hurster), disguised as Martin, finds life in the woods exhilarating. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

This play, which opened Saturday night at the Elizabethan, is a huge crowd-pleaser. Somewhat like a summer ‘tent-pole’ movie, it’s got a little bit of many things, calculated to delight the largest number of people. A revision of the old Robin Hood tale, which debuted at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon a few years ago, is stuffed full of Shakespearean memes which probably accounts for a great deal of the audience’s enjoyment.

Joel Sass directs this tale, centered on Marion (the talented Kate Hurster) a woman with no interest in following her guardian (Michael J. Hume)’s plan to marry her to the powerful, and power-mad, Prince John (Michael Elich, doing a fantastic job). Fleeing to the forest, she hopes to join Robin Hood (the ever-excellent John Tufts) and his band, only to discover that he is no shining example of nobility — he steals from the rich, yes but keeps it all for himself and his men. Moreover, he will allow no women in his band — they make men ‘messy’. Thwarted, she returns home, only to sneak out again, this time disguised as a youth — Martin of Sherwood — and with a plan to set herself up as the noble bandit. She steals from the rich, and gives it all away to the poor. She does it so well, that they come to her for help when Prince John threatens to hang a man and his family for not paying his taxes. Teaming up with Robin they fail to rescue the father, but save the children, creating a long involved sub-plot and a reason for the two bands to unite.