Chad Reviews "Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure"
As a kid, I loved swashbucklers and tales of derring-do. Be it Sinbad or Zorro, I was always captivated by heroes crossing swords with nasty ne’er do wells in their never-ending pursuit of adventure, so imagine my delight when Disney released their very unique take on Robin Hood back in 1973. I was just 4 years old, so it became an instant favorite of mine, and I still put it in my Top 10 f of favorite Disney classics ever. As the years wore on, a few more attempts were taken to bring the legendary figure back into the public consciousness with varying levels of success to the point of even a musical called “Twang!” in the mid ‘60s by Lionel Bart (famed creator the classic “Oliver!”), which was a colossal flop. Now, accomplished musical creator Douglas Carter Beane is ready to take another swing at it with “Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure”.
The story is as familiar as the ages: a young man named Robin (Nick Bailey) is forced to abandon his childhood lands as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Austin Scott) and his boss, Prince John, pursue him relentlessly. As tyranny falls over northern England, Robin begins to transform into the hero he was born to be, forming his band of merry men - Little John (Luke Longacre), Much (Billie Aken-Tyers) Will Scarlett (Jacob ben Widmar) Friar Tuck (Chris Ramirez) and Meg (Alysha Umphress) and attempts to free his beloved Marian (Ashley Park) from the clutches of the Sheriff.
To call this production an entertaining romp would putting it VERY lightly: this is an absolute delight from start to finish. Each person on stage seems to have a genuine love for what they are doing, and it comes shining through in the energy that emanates from the stage. And speaking of the stage, not a single square inch of it is wasted here, with every nook and cranny available decorated with precision to convey a “bare bones” set-up and a very handmade look to the set (which yes, sounds strange, but you will understand when you see it) and wardrobe design that looks like a genuine homegrown production.
Umphress is an absolute vocal standout delivering a handful of walloping numbers, and Widmar steals every scene he is in, creating an interpretation of Will Scarlett that is truly unforgettable. Though the production is still a bit rough around the edges, it’s sense of fun and freshness is simply unavoidable and absolutely should NOT be missed.