There might not be a wordy spin on the title of this one, but The Gaslight Theatre’s newest play, “The Adventures of Robin Hood” is anything but ordinary.
Sure, there are some to-be-expected elements that we’ve grown accustomed to before the curtains even draw aside; the servers are fitted in themed attire, the Gaslight band is rockin’, popcorn baskets line each table, and the anticipation of an always packed house is readable on each guest’s face.
Then the curtains open, and we find ourselves smack in another world. We’ve escaped from our stresses – we aren’t thinking about work or bills or how, in our rush, we forgot to fill up on gas on the way and, after the show, might be pushing the car to a nearby Chevron.
The latter might just be a personal example, but in general, for that next 90-or-so minutes we have one expectation: awesome entertainment.
And time after time, that’s what Gaslight delivers, “Robin Hood” being no exception.
This one wouldn’t let you get bored if you tried. Loosely following the well-known and numerous films of Robin Hood, this quirky play is immediately more reminiscent of the parody of those films, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
The play starts out quickly by wasting no time introducing us to the problem at hand: the Sheriff of Nottingham (Todd Thompson) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Christopher Younggren) are, on behalf of the King John, abusing their power over the people in the absence of the true king, Richard the Lionhearted.
Sir Guy, a greedy and manipulative protector of King John’s lands, soon sets his sights on more than just power, attempting to draw in the fair lady Maid Marian (Janee Page).
Just in time to stop the corruption and protect his love interest in Marian comes the protagonist, Robin Hood, played by the ever-popular Mike Yarema. The plot line is simple and familiar: its Robin Hood and his sidekicks versus a handful of troublemakers, and the winner will determine whether the lands and freedoms are of the people or the powerful, and if Robin Hood simultaneously earns the adoration of Marian.
But simple plot or not, it sure is entertaining. We get a great melodrama paraded with great and fitting musical themes (thanks to musical director Linda Ackermann), fun, entertaining choreography (credit to Katherine Byrnes), and an all encompassing, well-though-out, comedic script by playwright Peter Van Slyke.
What really made this one stand out, though, was the fact the actors seemed looser than ever, more ready to veer away from their rehearsed lines to light-heartedly antagonize or motivate the audience and at the same time show off improv skills that no doubt helped them land a spot amongst the pool of talent that makes up the Gaslight Theatre.
If you at all like fun, check out “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” which runs through June 7. The Gaslight Theatre is located at 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. and can be reached at 886-9428.
Oh – and, to those wondering, I didn’t run out of gas, thank you very much.