Legend at large

Robin Hood

In a setting as large as the Senator Theater the space itself can become a character in the production, and in his presentation of writer Don Nigro’s Robin Hood director Brad Moniz has chosen to employ the entire theater in his staging, so that the theater aisles become extensions of the stage, and action takes place not just before, but around, the audience. In theory it’s a nice affect, but it also can divert the dramatic focus, diffusing the tension of the stage action.

And there is plenty of action in Nigro’s 40-character script; more than enough, in fact. Given the rather spare nature of the classically comedic Robin and Maid Marian theme that provides the skeletal structure of the play, playwright Nigro has fleshed out the story to the point of corpulence.

But, as with anything truly grandiose and sprawling, it’s the details that provide the real interest. And, including the excellent costuming by Linda C. Young and Sharon North, this production is chock full of interesting details. Such as the meticulous Cockney accent and splendid comic timing of David Sorenson’s Little John. Or the convincingly morose jocularity of Brad Lowden’s Cootie the Drunk.

Sarah Foster’s portrayal of the transformation of Maid Marian from blissfully ignorant, spoiled aristocrat to humanistic social reformer is the moral center of the play, and Ms. Foster illuminates the basic goodness and intelligence of her character with an earthiness that eclipses our stereotypical image of Marian as a dainty, feminine stage prop.

Nigro’s script is cunning in limning around the titular character, and Ken Janke as Robin plays the character as the legend within the reality rather than vice versa, so his final ascension to immortality is both comic and heartfelt.