BWW Review: SHERWOOD THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD NOW PLAYING AT THE NEW THEATRE RESTAURANT IN OVERLAND PARK
The 2019 theatrical season has afforded me the opportunity to see several fantastic plays and musicals, unfortunately, Ken Ludwig's SHERWOOD THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD does not rank among them. Yes, if you like slapstick, old jokes, and sword fights then it does provide a nice evening of entertainment and several moments of raucous humor. SHERWOOD THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, starring Hal Linden, at the New Theatre Restaurant runs through February 2, 2020.
The production itself is very good, Director Richard Carrothers brings together a talented cast to provide as good a show as possible with such a cheesy script. As I looked on from the audience many times the banter seemed more like what you would expect to hear from a group of middle school students and not a highly successful professional playwright as Ken Ludwig.
The play originally simply titled ROBIN HOOD premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2017. The title was changed due to the number of plays and movies devoted to the character. Somewhere between Errol Flynn's depiction of the character in 1938 to "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" starring Kevin Costner lies SHERWOOD THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. It probably lies closer to the outrageous comedy of Mel Brook's "Robin Hood: Men In Tights".
Again I repeat the New Theatre Restaurants' interpretation is entertaining and worth the price of a ticket (it doesn't hurt that dinner is included). The use of props and graphics are very interesting to watch. It was well into the second act before I was able to figure out how the players were shooting arrows at each other. When the castle comes under attack I was impressed by the flaming arrows that appeared to strick the walls and set the banners ablaze.
The Tony Award-winning actor Hal Linden gives a wonderful performance as Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Sean Patrick Higgins as Robin Hood and Rin Allen as Maid Marian both give good performances but Higgins's dialog at times seemed forced. Scott Cordes as The Sheriff of Nottingham gives a very good performance and Tom McElroy is exceptional as Friar Tuck as is Katie Karel as Deorwynn.
Robin Hood was not the only thief on the stage, Phil Fiorini as Prince John stole the show. His dynamic portrayal of the character is hilarious and full of energy. Every time Prince John entered a scene I knew the house including myself would erupt in a roar of laughter.
SHERWOOD THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD continues at the New Theatre Restaurant through February 2. To purchase tickets online go to www.newtheatre.com/buy-tickets.
Photos courtesy of New Theatre Restaurant