NETworks, the producing company behind tours of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and the upcoming Seussical, is developing Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan's latest musical, Robin Hood: The Legend Continues.
NETworks executive producer Ken Gentry told Playbill On Line the new musical with book by Thomas Meehan, lyrics and direction by Charnin and music by Canadian composer Peter Sipos takes place some 20 years after the widely-known adventures of Robin of England's Sherwood Forest.
The work recently had a New York reading with Maureen McGovern as Marian and Steve Blanchard as Robin. The private reading was developmental — for the producers and creators to learn more about the shape of the script and what needed to be addressed. "We found out a whole lot of good stuff" about the project, Gentry said.
The writers are continuing to develop Robin Hood toward a future production. Gentry said he's hoping for a regional tryout of the show. The work was announced for the current season of The Marriott Theatre in the Chicago area, but owing to the developing script, the show was replaced in mid season by 1776.
Meehan and Charnin created the smash-hit, Annie, together. Charnin penned lyrics for Annie Warbucks and Two by Two. Meehan won a Tony Award in 2001 for co-writing the libretto for The Producers (and also won the Tony for Annie). Their new version of the Robin Hood legend shows Robin at age 50 returning from demoralizing wars to tell his friends that he's leaving England forever. His one regret is that he and Marian didn't have a child — a son to carry on a tradition.
As it turns out, the estranged Marian appears and it is discovered that 15 years earlier she had a child — but a daughter.
Gentry calls the show a romp with a lot of wit and humor. It's "a little but like Annie, but more in the world of Erroll Flynn," he said. The Merry Men are back, but they are long-in the-tooth, and they all have sons to a new generation of action and adventure.
— By Kenneth Jones