What to Know
"The Heart of Robin Hood"
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Through Sunday, Dec. 17
Much has understandably been written about those cinematic treats that are so beloved, and so re-watched, and so deeply and thoroughly known that audience members can and do act out scenes in front of the screen.
The archly ebullient "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" comes to mind, as does "The Princess Bride" and a few other fantastical films.
But there's one story that most people could take a dramatic go at without even needing a screen, stage, or page in the near background.
It's Robin Hood, a well-loved titan of folklore that's been put to film numerous times, and if you don't know know about Robin, and Little John, and Maid Marion, and Friar Tuck... well, you do, so enough of that.
Thus a spirited, high-action re-imagining, one that takes to the stage, not screen, with gusto and glee, is a welcome and surprising addition to the forest (Sherwood Forest, that is).
And that's just what has swung into the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, for Robin Hood-obsessed fans, for those who like powerful plays (powerful in word and movement), and those looking for fresh spins on olden-time tales.
David Farr, the writer of "The Night Manager," is the scribe behind this energetic outing, one that sees Robin Hood and his Merry Men keeping what they take in their own pockets, and not giving back to those in need.
That's the first "what???" moment, but there are more, including Marion's pivotal role in redirecting the initial avarice into something that's kind and community-driven and ultimately uplifting.
The name of this presentation — "The Heart of Robin Hood" — should serve as a beam of hope and cheer as to where various plot lines will eventually connect.
The upshot? Having read and seen this centuries-old story multiple times, you may think you could easily stand before the stage and act it all out, "Rocky Horror"-style, as you do know the beats of the Merry Men's outlandish and outlawish adventures as well as your own name.
But "The Heart of Robin Hood" is flush with a few twists, the sort of endearing elements that lend lively life to a tale we all assumed we knew.
It's having a right rollicking time, with some topical and moving themes threaded through, at the Beverly Hills venue through Sunday, Dec. 17.