In preparation for my first play review, I thought it would be a great idea to read the book “Robin Hood.”
Honestly, from the first page to the last, I just couldn’t relate to it. I was panicking as I walked into the theater with my “book” vision — a man in green tights stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, eerie music and a lot of Old English words that I couldn’t understand. As I waited nervously, pen in hand to take notes, the lights dimmed.
Bam! Robin Hood makes his incredible entrance flying across the stage in his camo skinny jeans, black studded jacket and cool gloves. I was so excited to find out what was going to happen next.
The music is loud and funky and sets the scene for a new twist on Sherwood Forest. This Robin Hood even plays the air guitar.
I glanced over at my brother, and he was on the edge of his seat, leaning toward the stage. He was totally into this play. I could see why. You can’t have Robin Hood without flying arrows. In this play, they do something with arrows you’ve never seen before.
The Sheriff of Nottingham is also quite a character. He kept the audience laughing even though he was one of the bad guys. Keep watch for the greedy Prince John, who suddenly pops out from one of the many mysterious boxes.
With her fighting skills and flowing red hair, Maid Marian becomes a perfect partner for the Hood. She can swing the sword and aim the arrows as well as any of the Merry Men.
You will love the very comical, stunt filled adventure through this modern Sherwood Forest.
After the lights came back on, I got to sneak backstage and see some of the props and meet the people who put this play together.
The cast, Andy Cahoon (Robin Hood), Kate Haas (Maid Marian), Jon Gentry (Sheriff of Nottingham), Ricky Araiza (Prince John), Eric Boudreau (Will Scarlett) and Keath Hall (Little John) introduced me to the Green Room, a backstage hangout for the actors.
The actors’ favorite part was the big fight at the end of the play. Multiple sword fights were happening at the same time. Each actor had to train three weeks, eight hours a day, to practice combat, sword fighting, and martial arts.
Some of the costumes were used for protection. For example, Maid Marian had to wear some extra padding to make sure the studs in her jacket weren’t rubbing against her so she could perform her stunts without injury.
The costume designer did an amazing job setting the new mood of the play. I loved how the Merry Men had punk rocker outfits and rooster hair to add to the play’s theme.
In the end, thanks to the actors and their fun, quirky interpretation of “Robin Hood,” I can finally relate to this story. Be sure to check out this original performance and tell me how you relate to this story and its characters.
If you go
What: An updated take on “Robin Hood” by award-winning family theatre company Childsplay
When: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays, and 1 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 6
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Information: (480) 350-2822 or Childsplayaz.org
• This article was originally published as part of Childplay’s Kid Reporter program, in which local youngsters ages 7-12 write and post reviews. The reporters also get an exclusive backstage tour and interview with cast members. For more information, visit ChildsplayAZ.org.