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THEATER REVIEW / 'ROBIN HOOD' : A Musical Debut : The youthful cast uses broadswords, not bows and arrows, and there's no sheriff in sight. But it's a fun show for kids.


Robin Hood and his Merry Men are holding forth in Camarillo in an assemblage that you will and won't recognize. But if you have a family with children between about 6 and 15 years old, the trip might be worth your while.

The musical "Robin Hood," by Winnie Flynn--a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based writer and producer--is receiving its West Coast debut in performance by the Camarillo Youth Theater group, whose on- and offstage personnel are all under 21 years old.

This "Robin" unites several familiar characters--Robin, Maid Marian, King John, Allan-a-Dale, and so on--but there's no Sheriff of Nottingham here and not a longbow in sight: These Merry Men fight with broadswords.

The casting is generally excellent, with Ryan Ingrassia and Marin Ireland a particularly appealing Robin and Marian, and John Lordan an imposing Little John. Using a female--Elizabeth MacDonald--as Friar Tuck results in a fairly unconventional interpretation of the character, something like the Wicked Witch from "Snow White."

Flynn's script is amusing, and well-served by the cast.

Directors Leah Florence and Jayme Housh handle their actors well, with Florence music-directing the several serviceable songs. The live musical accompaniment is credited to Kevin Parcher and Larry English.

The set uses a backdrop from an old Camarillo Community Theater production of "Camelot"; costumes were devised and executed by the cast.


"Robin Hood" continues Friday and Saturday nights through Aug. 22 at the Camarillo Airport Theater, 330 Skyway Drive on the Camarillo Airport grounds. Performances are at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5 for adults (12 and older, by the group's definition), or $3.50 for children and seniors 60 or older. For reservations or further information, call 388-5716.

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