‘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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…