weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

There’s very little driving ‘Robin Hood’ musical

"Robin Hood: The Musical", an original work at Desert Spring Arts, looks as if it wants to be a European operetta crossed with "Brigadoon." It has elements of fantasy, romance and adventure. Director/librettist/lyricist/set designer/costume co-designer Tony Cobb gives us lots of good singing and rolled-on set pieces that provide a playful, comic-strip texture.

The script throws in the characters we’d expect to be hanging out in Sherwood Forest in the days of King Richard (the elegant Michael Brazier), waiting to pounce on the rich who trod by so that the poor can be fed.

You can’t help but expect with a new musical (an earlier version was performed in Utah in 2001) that you’ll be seeing at least some new expressions of melodic and thematic points. But there seems to be very little driving this enterprise, other than an apparent desire to imitate forms of long ago.

That wouldn’t be so bad if Cobb were able to get beyond the surface of this story. The book is pedestrian. It can’t make up its mind what genre it wants to play in. The score (with music by Tony’s brother Karrol) is always pretty and occasionally captures the appropriate comic or romantic spirit. But what are we supposed to think when we hear Marian (Randi Harrington) crooning, "How do you know when you’ve fallen in love?/ Does a pillar of light fall from heaven above?" Are we supposed to rejoice that the Cobbs have chosen to echo the worst of yesterday’s banalities?

As a director, Cobb relies too heavily on singing ability. But hitting the right notes is not the same as character development.

There’s no romance between this Marian and Robin (Jared Dalley). They are so busy being prim and proper and antiseptic, that you can’t imagine their having any desire to jump each other’s bones.

But Dalley’s a likable and strong presence. Herrington has a grandness about her that convinces you she’d be worth fighting for. And Peter Beckett as the mammoth Little John has a virile, dominating attitude that is as professionally projected in his acting as in his singing.

Cobb exhibits no talent for visual compositions. He doesn’t know how to place a crowd so that the stage doesn’t look cramped and off-balance. The physical production, despite its occasionally amusing (though monotonous) set, often is not pleasing to the eye.

There is, though, all that well-trained vocalizing. How fortunate it would be for Cobb if that were all a musical needed.

Anthony Del Valle can be reached at DelValle@aol.com. You can write him c/o Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
How to appeal when Medicare refuses a claim

Toni Says reader Joey received a $2,000 bill from his new cardiologist, and Medicare says it will not pay.

Work, workouts keep Schwarzenegger feeling young

“I don’t retire — I reload,” 75-year-old Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger says. “Why retire when there is still so much more to do?”

5 strategies to help improve your sleep

Many people struggle with sleep — and that’s a problem, since sleep plays a crucial role in your health, energy levels and ability to function at your best.