Sunday, August 25, 2013


Last time I finished off talking about The Tenth Muse, so this time I'll start with The Heart of Robin Hood.

Left to right: Little John, Marian (in disguise), Robin and Will Scarlet.

I loved it.

I should note that I've loved the Robin Hood stories since I was quite small. My dad used to read them to me and I grew up playing Robin Hood in various parks and my backyard, pretending to be him or Marian, reading the stories, and watching the Errol Flynn movie about 20 times.

Yup, that's the one.

So I was already a fan.

Truth be told, I was a little nervous going into the play. What if it wasn't good?

But my worries were totally unfounded, because it was fantastic!

The play starts off with Robin and his men as bloodthirsty cutthroats who haven't quite figured the whole "giving to the poor" thing, but still have a generous reputation. Marian and her servant Pierre try to join them, since Marian really doesn't want to marry Prince John (such a creeper) and might have to anyway, but when she discovers Robin's true nature she decides to set herself up in opposition to him as "Martin of Sherwood," who really DOES do the giving to the poor thing.

Meanwhile, Prince John raises taxes to fund his own private army and take over the country and two children get involved after their father refuses to pay...

The thing I really loved was that this play had some really funny moments but was also very scary. The danger to Marian and the children was very real, and it had some heartbreaking moments. But it balanced that with good humor and great acting.

The set was pretty awesome too. It was in the Elizabethan theatre, which is outdoors, and they were actually using the same set for three forest-themed plays: Cymbeline, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Robin Hood. 

Lastly, we saw My Fair Lady.

It was a good musical, and they staged it well, but something about the story just didn't sit right with me. In case you don't know, My Fair Lady is about a speech therapist who makes a bet with his friend that he can pass off a Cockney flower-seller as a lady via speech lessons. The speech therapist was a little too much of a jerk for me to sympathize with, but it was still a good musical.

The staging looked a little weird initially--two pianos in the middle of the stage?--but they pulled it off really well.

Fun fact: There's this song called "On The Street Where You Live," sung by somebody who's just fallen in love with the main character, Eliza Doolittle.

(For context, she's just been to the horse races. Under the instructions to discuss only the weather and people's health, she made a few drastic faux pas, such as mentioning her Cockney father's gin addiction [it was about his health...])

The guy in the play totally overacted this. It was hysterical! He was running around and lying down on the stage while singing.

My dad told me that that number was actually written just as a filler, because the horse-race sequence was pretty elaborate and the stagehands needed time to change the set! It was written just so the guy could stand in front of the curtain and sing while they moved stuff around behind him.

Yay for fun facts!

My favorite character in My Fair Lady was probably Eliza's reprobate dad. He's completely morally bankrupt, but he freely admits it, and he's also really funny.

Probably my favorite song in the entire thing.

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