Category Archive for: ‘Flora Lynn Isaacson’

ROBIN HOOD by Greg Banks is Final Play of RVP’s 86th Season – A delight in family fun!

rvp-robin-hood-poster-3-668x1024The family favorite Robin Hood is a clever tale of good versus evil which follows the legend of Robin Hood and his merry band who rob from the rich to give to the poor.  This tale of resiliency, compassion, and heroism is played out with an easy-going and humorous twist that will delight both children and adults.

Everyone knows the thrilling stories of Robin Hood, but playwright Greg Banks has pared-down the stories of this woodland hero to just one story and just five actors.  We all know the high points of the Robin Hood character (played here by Nicholas Schwager) robbing from the rich, and giving to the poor, falling in love with Maid Marian (Ariana Mahallati), and humiliating the Sheriff of Nottingham (Izaak Heath) and Prince John (Pablo Hamlin) at the archery tournament.

Banks has told the tale with humor and a sense of childlike wonder that never once talks down to the kids – all of which is bookended in a framework of modern-day persecuted poor – making the impact of the story that much more relevant. Director Cris Cassel has taken this daring tale and amped-up the thrills with a super cast and a deliciously climbable and swingable set from Ron Krempetz and Eugene DeChristopher.

This 5-person ensemble manages to inhabit the whole of Nottingham and Sherwood Forest as they weave in and out of their various characters with a simple change of a hat or cloak – never losing the sense of whom they’re trying to portray. Nicholas Schwager makes the most daring and rugged Robin Hood who ever buckled a sword and could not be more fun in the role. One of his first recruits was Little John (the versatile and hilarious Cory Anderson) who becomes his right-hand “man.”

Izaac Heath is perfectly bumbling as the Sheriff and still commands his authority through all his IMG_0313fumbles. Ariana Mahallati delivers a beautiful and capable Maid Marian who may well be in a bad situation (thanks to the Sheriff) but is never a damsel in distress as she shoots and fights just as well as the merry band of men, if not better.  The glee with which the merry men play their roles makes them all a joy to watch, especially the swaggering and malevolent Prince John.  All of them together form a tight ensemble.

This is one of those kid-shows that’s so good it goes beyond being just a “kid show.”  Not only does it transport any age to get into the thrilling adventures of Robin Hood, but also thrilled the audience with its magnificent stage craft.  The costume designs by Michael A. Berg were very imaginative, and the Lighting Design by Tina Johnson went from sunset to the next morning’s sunrise beautifully.  The Sound Design by Bruce Viera just adds more fun.  Special credit goes to Zoë Swenson Graham for her imaginative fight-scenes choreography.

Try to catch this brilliant work before it’s gone.
Long live Robin Hood!!IMG_0312

Robin Hood began July 15 and will run through August 14, at 4:30 p.m.  Regular performances are scheduled for Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Fridays 8:00 p.m., Saturdays 8:00 p.m., and Sunday Matinees are at 2:00 p.m.  For tickets to Robin Hood, go online to www.rossvalleyplayers.com or call 800/838-3006 (Brown Paper Tickets). A reservation line is available at 415/456-9555 extension 1, and tickets for Private and Sponsored performances or School Groups may be purchased by telephone, 415/456-9555 extension 3. All performances take place at The Barn, home of the Ross Valley Players, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.

Photography by Gregg Le Blanc

A one-night Reading of The Fellowship will be given at RVP on Saturday, August 7, at 8:00 p.m., written and directed by Ignacio Zulueta.

RVP’s 87th Season opens on September 16, 2016, with Sylvia, written by A. R. Gurney and directed by Buzz Halsing.

Flora Lynn Isaacson