Ken Ludwig's Sherwood
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Directed by Sydney Parks Smith & James Burns
June 26 – July 24, 2021
“… a brightly colored lighthearted take on the legend … just right for a summer evening.” -San Diego Union-Tribune
It’s hard to keep a good legend down. In this rollicking new take on the beloved folktale, Sherwood is the enduring story of a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. With swashbuckling adventure and a romantic heartbeat, this rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest brings back the youth in all of us. Join up and take aim with Robin and his band of Merry Men … and Women … as they champion the underdog and fight for justice. Laughs, romance and plenty of arrows fly in this all-out comic adventure.
Playing in the Park at Columbine Health Systems
“Ludwig has mastered the farce formula” – The News-Herald
It is 1194 in Nottingham, England, which borders Sherwood Forest. King Richard the Lionhearted is the rightful ruler, as he is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror who came over from France to conquer the Saxons, descendants of the Germanic tribes that beat the Romans. Unfortunately, while Richard was gallivanting around the world during one of the many Crusades he was captured in Austria and is being held for ransom.
Richard's brother, Prince John, is in no hurry to pay the ransom because he and his henchmen, Sir Guy Gisbourne and the Sheriff of Nottingham, have a good thing going and are living the high life on the backs of the peasants.
Robin of Sherwood has grown up in privileged circumstances on the estate that borders Maid Marian's family. She convinces Robin that all is not merry in "merry olde" and he needs to do something about it. The pair are soon joined by Friar Tuck , Little John , and Deorwynn and with the help of the people plunder and pillage the rich in order to redistribute the wealth, which does not sit well with the baddies.
“a romp full of swashbuckling and romance” – Cool Cleveland
This production takes place outside in the Park at Columbine Health Systems. Pack your blankets and chairs and head on over! Feel free to pack a picnic dinner or prepare to enjoy food from one of our nightly food trucks. Packed adult beverages are okay too (if you are over 21)!
Just like Batman or Spiderman, most everyone knows Robin Hood's back story; he's a noble who decided to stand up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves
Ludwig’s latest owes more to Mel Brooks classic “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” than Errol Flynn, though his humor is of a more bookish version than Brooks bawdy style. This farcical take on Robin Loxley of Nottingham is a timeless, whimsical foray into the Middle Ages. Plenty of swashbuckling sight gags, over-the-top battles and naughty double entendres up the comedic ante. The comedy is as broad as it is long, with lots of pratfalls, swordplay, flying arrows, and the breaking of the fourth wall. In a word, it is controlled chaos.
It’s also an interactive effort. Several characters appear and appeal to the crowd, egging on cheers and boos and asking the audience to stand up at various times. It allows the audience to become a part of this merry band.... Outside!
Sometimes theater simply needs to supply us with a break from the seriousness of life. Sherwood certainly fills the bill for that. Just like the classic swashbuckling movies of the 1930s, this play is a great escape from the humdrum. Come share a laugh or two.
OpenStage will be staying up to date and abiding by the restrictions and guidelines that the state and county provide for the safety of the audience and the artists. You will receive an email before the performance detailing the protocol for the show. At this time, the audience will need to be masked and socially distanced.
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Ken Ludwig is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright who has written over 28 plays and musicals, including 6 shows on Broadway and 7 in London's West End. His first Broadway play, Lend Me A Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was called "one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His other awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2017 Samuel French Award for Sustained Excellence in the American Theatre, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. His book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, published by Penguin/Random House, won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year, and his essays are published by the Yale Review. Ken’s best known works include Crazy For You (5 years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, The Game’s Afoot, Baskerville, Sherwood, A Fox on the Fairway, A Comedy of Tenors and a stage version of Murder on the Orient Express, written expressly at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate, which will open in the West End next season. His play, The Gods of Comedy, premieres this season at The McCarter Theater in Princeton and The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. His newest plays are Moriarty and Dear Jack, Dear Louise, which will premiere this fall at Arena Stage. On Broadway and the West End, his plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Tony Shalhoub, Lynn Redgrave, Joan Collins and Kristen Bell. He holds degrees from Harvard, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, and Cambridge University. His work has been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and is produced somewhere in the United States every night of the year. Read More