Written by 6:53 pm fullerton, Musical, Review, The Electric Company, Theater, Uncategorized

The Electric Company Theatre presents: The Heart of Robinhood @ Muckenthaler Cultural Center – Review


(photo credit: Katie Mooney)

Written by Diana Michelle Robles

Director Brian Johnson accomplished a twisted retelling of a classic tale at its opening on Tuesday despite facing pacing issues.

Story:

The Heart of Robin Hood is something of an extended version of the classic legend we are likely all familiar with. You know, the one where Robin steals from the rich and gives to the poor; only in this take, it isn’t as straightforward.

In fact, at the start of this story, Robin is just a hood, taking from the rich to give to himself and his gang of miscreants. Yet, when someone sneakily challenges his worldview, the cold-blooded outlaw’s heart begins to thaw. While this story attempts to create something new from the old, the story simply feels predictable. This, combined with the show’s length and pace, did not match up. While the audience assumes what will happen and hopes for something fresh, it ends up feeling overdone. However, the redeeming factors of this production’s storytelling include its lighting design from Matt Mankiewicz and its unique folk/indie soundtrack, which was performed by the house band The Archers and arranged by Wesley Chavez. These elements brought a colorful novelty to this production.

Wyatt Logan, Jacqueline Alberto

Acting:

The Muckenthaler Mansion in Fullerton is the home to an awesome outdoor amphitheater, where The Electric Company Theater’s productions take place. While this scenic approach to theater is refreshing and welcome, some of the cast’s vocal projection skills were no match for the setting. The production started off shaky due to volume unevenness.

However, there was undoubtedly talent in this pool of actors. Standout performances were given by lead actress Jacqueline Alberto as Marion/ Martin, Michael Reehl as Pierre/Big Peter, and Bobby Gonzalez as Prince John.

Alberto’s performances emphasized the strength of her androgynous character, while Reehl and Gonzalez both had the audience giddy with their playful and inflated performances.

As for their Robin Hood, Wyatt Logan showcased his character’s duality with charm.

Set Design:

This production gets points for the functionality of its set and its willingness to think beyond the stage. While the design itself was plain, it featured a large trap door, which the production used effectively in multiple parts of the show.

Miles Henry, Wyatt Logan, Paul Stanko, Jerry Zou

Costume:

The costuming for this show gave a muted feel of the era. The animals in the production, played by humans in leather animal masks, were designed to be simple, effective, and maybe a little creepy.

This production’s approach to comedy is almost Shakespearean—understated yet delightful. This funniness is backed by its folkish sound, which was unexpected but works for this play.

Overall:

Despite its issues, The Heart of Robin Hood ultimately does the job. It’s a lighthearted mix of its classic origin, Disney’s Mulan, and the enemies-to-lovers trope, which makes for an enjoyable, family-friendly night at the theater.

Review
7.8 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Story7.5
Acting7.3
Set & Design7.8
Costumes8.2
Entertainment8
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Above Average! June 4 – 26, 2024.

(Correction: the show runs 2 hours and 15 minutes including a 15 minute intermission.) source

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