Meehan, Sipos and Charnin's Robin Hood, the Musical, Aims Arrow at Regional Theatre

News   Meehan, Sipos and Charnin's Robin Hood, the Musical, Aims Arrow at Regional Theatre
 
Robin Hood, the musical, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by composer Peter Sipos and lyrics by Martin Charnin, continues to be shepherded by NETworks, the producer behind tours of Cinderella and Seussical.

Charnin told Playbill On-Line said the hope is to present the musical retelling of Robin and his Merry Men in a regional theatre in the next year. NETworks, he said, is "hunting for a regional theatre situation where we can put it on for four or five weeks and work on it."

The piece has had two recent readings (in New York and Florida) representing revisions on the show, which was once scheduled for the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL, but was dropped so the piece could be revised and refined.

Charnin said a reading at the Marriott was instructive. "The audience gave us some fascinating feedback," he said.

As previously reported by Playbill On-Line, Robin Hood the musical will show the heroes of Sherwood Forest (those who famously stole from the rich and gave to the poor) as fiftysomething men with teen-age children who are as sexy and vital as they once were. Think of it as Robin Hood, the Next Generation.

"It's a very interesting take on this well-known tale, only it has a couple of really good surprises," Charnin said. "All of our old favorite characters are there, but they've turned into The Over-the-Hill Gang." The show once had the subtitle, The Legend Continues, but Charnin said the show is now called Robin Hood.

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NETworks executive producer Ken Gentry previously confirmed details about the show, which takes place 20 years after exploits that have been well-documented in movies and literature.

A private New York reading of the work featured Maureen McGovern as Marian and Steve Blanchard as Robin. The 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.

Meehan and Charnin created the smash-hit, Annie, together. Charnin also 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 a 2003 Tony for co-writing the libretto for Hairspray (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 (Maid) 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, and they all have sons — creating a new generation of action and adventure.

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