‘The Heart of Robin Hood’ beats strong and is full of thrills

“The Heart of Robin Hood” has a magical ending – but we’re not giving it away.

If you look away for even a second during the American Repertory Theater’s rollicking production “The Heart of Robin Hood,” you risk missing something incredible. This swashbuckling good time is about as entertaining and engrossing as live theater gets. This inventive take on the classic story is so much fun that even the most curmudgeonly of theatergoers will have a blast.

This Robin Hood steals from the rich but, rather than give to the poor, he keeps it for himself and his band of not-so-merry men who are clad not in tights, but in variations of kinkily thuggish leather.

Hood, who plays the part of a brutish crime boss, eventually falls for Marion, as in the old tale.However, in this redux, the romance is complicated by cross-dressing — Marion, the real hero of the play, dons men’s clothes to become Robin Hood’s nemesis, Martin.

As the battle of good versus evil rages, fighters and lovers alike fly through the air, tumble across the stage and engage in hand-to-hand combat that will not only delight children of all ages, but enable them to enjoy an artfully staged beheading as just another part of the frivolity. Incredible athleticism, impressive aerials and impeccable fight choreography aren’t, however, the only treasures you’ll find in this Sherwood Forest.

The back wall of the stage comprises two 40-foot slides covered in green moss that provide for some of the most entertaining entrances you’ll ever see. Even dressed in an elegant, silver beaded frock, the fair maid Marion (Christina Bennett Lind) drops in on her backside like everyone else. There are holes in the floor that people randomly pop in and out of and even a menacing shark that patrols a pond onstage.

Contemporary folk band Poor Old Shine provides the toe-tapping, hand-clapping score and some incredible musical moments.

Despite all the mayhem (and there is much of it) “The Heart of Robin Hood” has a fairly magical ending, but you’ll have to see it for yourself.

“The Heart of Robin Hood”
Through Jan. 19
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
617-547-8300
AmericanRepertoryTheater.org


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.