Adapted from a novella by the late Eudora Welty, Robber spins a romantic tall tale about a masked highway man (bald, dashing Geoff Uterhardt) who finds a kink in his larcenous plans when he falls in love with young Rosamund (madcap Marcie Millard). As the scheming stepmother Salome, Donna Wright consistently goes over the top, but her oversized gestures are nearly always funny and in character, as when she sings the spiteful song "The Picklepear Bloom" while standing atop a barrel.
Robber's most remarkable quality may be its sheer logistics. Director Sherri Sutton and choreographer Sherry Weeks manage to fit a dozen actors and a handful of puppets into a modest performing space and still give them fight scenes, simulated travel and frequent square dance numbers. At the same time, the quarters are so close, with so many songs and jokes involving hollerin', that at times you simply feel like you're being yelled at; a gag in which the cast bellows "Jamie Lockhart!" at every mention of the name runs out of steam fast.
At times the production veers awkwardly between bawdy slapstick and wholesome entertainment. When fuzzy animals accompany Millard in a dulcet version of "Nothin' Up," it's an amusingly Disney-esque moment, yet the earthy sight gags and intimations of sexuality may be a bit too mature for small children. Still, the more you like comedy with snaggle-toothed bumpkins, the more you'll enjoy this version of Robber, which even works in references to "Hee-Haw."
Theatre Gael presents The Robber Bridegroom through Oct. 21 at 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 5 p.m. Sun. $12-$18. 404-876-9762.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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