The title speaks for itself. Or at least, it should. Really, when we hear of a new show coming to the Arden Theatre, my kids are totally excited to go and see it. Because they KNOW it will be good, and so do I.
As we’ve discussed before, the Arden does children’s theater brilliantly. It’s totally captivating for children, yet equally fun for the adults who buy the tickets and transport them to the show. Robin Hood continues in this tradition, and possibly even steps it up a notch!
The set is always unique and always a creative match for the production. But this time, the Arden outdid itself. We’d never been to the upstairs theater before, but to see the space transformed into the Sherwood Forest was magical. And you just KNEW those green bars that stretched from floor to ceiling would be used in lots of fun ways. Indeed they were.
This production was funny and action-packed and had the kids glued to their seats. Except for when we were asked to stand up and cheer for Robin Hood. Oh, and when the audience members helped out with the archery competition. Ok, so maybe they weren’t glued, but the kids were REALLY paying attention and loving the show.
My four year old instantly recognized family favorite Steve Pacek (from If you Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Borrowers). His comedic banter is more fun than is usually allowed in children’s theater. New favorites this time around included Charlotte Ford (Maid Marion) and Ian Merrill Peakes (Sheriff of Nottingham). Maid Marion inspired my formerly princess-obsessed preschooler to cheer on her heroine, and all of the kids who came with me sneered at the evil Sheriff of Nottingham… brilliantly played by Peakes. Little John, who oddly enough was not that all that tiny, offered a wonderfully deep and fun portrayal of Robin Hood’s skilled sidekick.
The acting and the staging were wonderful, but don’t take my word for it. Here are some quotes from the toughest critics:
Julian, age 6 said, “It was cool how they were flipping on the green poles. It really was like being in a forrest!”
Charlie, age 6, said, “That Sheriff was a real bad guy. He wasn’t just acting, you know.”
Abby, age 4, said, “Maid Marion was pretty.”
So there you have it… beauty, evil and action. What more could you ask for? Robin Hood has been extended and now runs through June 24. Friday nights are Target Two for One nights, so those would be great performances to choose if you’re looking for a deal.
Northwest Philly Parents is a partnership between Newsworks and Germantown Avenue Parents.