Back to Archives

Robin rocks the Hood

Make merry with the Merry Men

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

I have to admit that I didn’t have high expectations for “Robin Hood … The Legend Continues” at Centerstage Theater. I don’t know why since the theater has been on a stellar rise of late under the artistic direction of Alan Bryce.

Maybe it’s the story. I’ve never been much of a fan of the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. That’s likely because I don’t care much for men in green tights. But that’s another story.

This show had its parts that just didn’t seem to work, but overall I’ll give it the Julius Caesar thumbs-up. With lyrics by Martin Charnin, book by Thomas Meehan and music by Peter Sipos, it had everything going for it before the curtain rose.

Charnin is the guy behind the lyrics of the original production of “Annie,” after all. He takes that same sort of feel in the creation of “Robin Hood,” which is light on story line and heavy on the integration of music to tell what little story there is.

It goes a bit like this:

The story of “Robin Hood … the Legend Continues” begins 18 years after the original story ended with the return of King Richard to the throne of England.  Robin Hood (played by Stephen Grenley) has returned to the noted forest following a stint with the crusades and quickly reunites with his love Marian (Patricia Britton). After some awkward staging about her being mad at him for not writing, she informs him that they have a daughter. He had his heart set on a boy, thus creating the setup for the real story of the play — that of his daughter, Elizabeth (Anne Kennedy), setting out to win her father’s affections by going butch and masquerading as a dude so she can lead the Merry Men into battle against the evil King John (Eric Hartley). The comic relief on the play comes in bits and pieces through one-liners tagged into songs and moderately funny gags such as the Merry Men disguising themselves as traveling singers who look oddly like the Beatles to the point that Elizabeth says her name is John of Lennox. Get it? Ugh.

King John’s teen-age queen provides another stream of laughs because she demands bling bling before he gets any boom boom. The fact that the queen (Taralynn Thompson) is only 15 years old makes her oversexed comments a bit creepy in a Britney Spears sort of way.

Along the way, Elizabeth, who has donned the duds of dudes to be Robin Jr., follows in love with Will Scarlet Jr. (Ryan Childers), who battles with his own feelings since he finds himself falling for a person he thinks is a guy.

That trouble leads into clever lyrics such as Elizabeth singing, “He is tall, dark and slim; the only trouble is that he thinks I’m a him.”

The play wraps up in a nice little bow with Robin dying and all of the love interests finding out the truth while the evil folks find themselves in chains.

The scenery is sparse, but the costumes pop in all of the right places, except for an awkwardly fake beard that looks like it was stolen from a Halloween store’s bargain bin. Despite the troubles this show has, it’s not a bad way to spend a day at the theater.

“Robin Hood … the Legend Continues” runs at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 S.W. Dash Point Road, Federal Way. Tickets are $8 to $25 and available by calling 253.661.1444 or at

comments powered by Disqus