Front Row Reviewers

Jun 6, 2024 | Reviews

Have a Merry Evening with “The Lady of Sherwood” by Great Hall Theatrical

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

By Alayna Een, A review by Front Row Reviewers

The Lady of Sherwood by Great Hall Theatrical at the Angelus Theatre in Spanish Fork, Utah, is a delightful historical romp earning its place amid myriad summer musicals. In this original take on the Robin Hood legend, Stephen Gashler and Teresa Gashler create a tale of legend, love, intrigue, and forgiveness.

After a devastating betrayal by the reinstated King Richard, the men of the Sherwood—including the legendary Robin Hood—are buried and mourned by their surviving wives and daughters. The persistently oppressed peasantry finds no relief from the taxes enforced by the new sheriff of Nottingham, Hawk, and the King’s cunning advisor, Lord Elric. But a trio of merry women led by Robin Hood’s daughter, Aspen, sneak in to shake things up—much to the displeasure of both the shocked Hawk and the politically minded leader of Sherwood, Lady Scarlet. A hooded figure with dark plans lurks on the outskirts of the story as tensions rise and some of the women of Sherwood prepare to overthrow the king. Meanwhile, Aspen and Hawk must discover their places in the shifting political sphere—and address their growing affection for each other.

Aspen Hood (Camdyn Marker), daughter of Robin Hood, is struggling to find her place in Sherwood, England, and the legend her father left behind. But Marker’s Merida-like character is largely led by her heart, her spritely spirit, and her light feet. The trusty—and troublesome—trio formed by Aspen, Isabella (Mallory Miner), and Beatrice (Jorri Johnson) is a treat to watch. Jorri Johnson’s boisterous and snarky Beatrice quickly becomes a crowd favorite. 

Adam Johnson is Hawk, the honorable and eligible sheriff of Nottingham, who immediately warms to Aspen—it turns out that the rat was not the only thing she struck through the heart. The pair’s playful chemistry, Adam Johnson’s bashful attempts at wooing, and their delightful dancing around their feelings (and sometimes each other) are all endearing. Adam Johnson really captures Hawk’s inner conflict and is hilarious to watch as he shies away from Scarlet’s romantic advances. Scarlet (Tyler Woods) is Sherwood’s leader, intent on seeking revenge on King Richard for past wrongs and wielding his power for good. Woods’s performance sparks with determination, and her commanding presence is juxtaposed with the unexpected but much-appreciated pop ballad “Lock Up My Heart” (music and lyrics by Ryan Tolman). Joan Little (Katia Dengin Whitlock) is Scarlet’s steadfast and stoic sidekick, and Whitlock’s performance is strong and nuanced. 

Landon Christensen is the quippy ghost of long-dead Robin Hood, who narrates part of the story, interjects his commentary on the action, and carries the arrows Hamilton-like across the stage to their true (but not always accurate) marks. Christensen is a flippant free spirit, just as likely to play poltergeist to unsuspecting peasants as to try to assist the Merry Women, but his excellent line delivery keeps the humor high. Robyn Pitman is the matronly Marian, ever worried about her flighty daughter and fight-ready community. Their song “The Order of the Robin Hood” is a rousing and tender number that is the emotional center of the show.

Playing the king who, unfortunately, did not put the rich in Richard is Garion Jorgensen. He commands a crusade-worthy presence onstage, interjecting plenty of good humor and situational comedy. I especially enjoyed the tower dungeon scene in the second act. Lord Elric (Brennan Tripp) is outwardly obsequious, cleverly covering his true motives and loyalties, but he is also just a really good fit for the character.

The ensemble is small but mighty, filling in as cowed peasants, renegades, and merry women and rounding out the scenes. Ryan Hilton, one of two men in the ensemble performs exceptionally well. 

Director Avery Dall-Hilton plays up the humor in the script with the help of sound designer Melanie Kamauu’s brilliant additions—a real crowd pleaser. But Dall-Hilton expertly juxtaposes the silly and sweet with the bitter truth that wholly happy endings are hard to come by. Choreographers Kaya Bird and Daniel Manivanh Porcelli keep the movement as lively as the characters themselves, and I especially enjoyed the river dance feel of the sea shanty song, “Enough.”

The Lady of Sherwood is both a fun summer musical and an interesting addition to a time-honored legend. With songs that are at once entertaining and resonant and some lines that are both funny and profound, this play and its talented actors offer a night of fresh and original entertainment that audience members of all ages can enjoy. So join the order of the Robin Hood and catch a performance of Great Hall Theatrical’s The Lady of Sherwood at the Angelus Theatre.

Great Hall Theatrical presents The Lady of Sherwood by Stephen Gashler and Teresa Gashler with some music and lyrics by Ryan Tolman.
165 N Main St, Spanish Fork, UT 84660
June 3–15, 2024 7:30 PM
Tickets: $16–$18   801-900-3035
Great Hall Theatrical Facebook Page
Great Hall Theatrical Website 
Lady of Sherwood Program 

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