ROBIN HOOD, THE ENVIRONMENTAL FAMILY MUSICAL by Chris Earle (Ross Petty). To Jan 3. See listing. Rating: NNN
Keeping with the environmental theme of his newest panto at the Elgin, Ross Petty recycles Robin Hood for the third time, updating it with topical jokes.[rssbreak]
Jessica Holmes warms things up with her Céline Dion impression, earning loads of laughs while introducing the story of Maid Marian (Canadian Idol Eva Avila) and hero Robin (Jeff Irving), who lives in Sherwood Forest avoiding the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham (Petty).
As always, the production includes pop cover songs, an extended chase scene and a contest of physical strength, before ending (spoiler!) happily ever after.
Writer Chris Earle’s thin plot relies mostly on the love story, but the script includes witty one-liners for standout supporting characters like Nurse Plumbum von Botox (Dan Chameroy, dry-witted in drag), and Holmes’s Eyuba, Queen of the Forest.
The show’s well cast, and director Ted Dykstra utilizes each performer’s talents. Avila and Yvan Pedneault (We Will Rock You) focus on their singing, while the comedians get numerous opportunities for ad libs. Dykstra also incorporates both broad and subtle physical humour.
Music director Bob Foster has arranged a rockin’ soundtrack (including show highlight Thriller), and J.C. Olivier’s sets resemble giant cartoons, for a fun and functional backdrop.
The show is family-friendly, but includes moments aimed at adults, like the clever mock-commercials projected onto a screen mid-show that provide hilariously memorable advertising for corporate sponsors.