*Contributing writer Marcia Kellogg and her son were guests of the New Victory Theater. All thoughts belong to her and her son and have not been influenced.*
My 8 year old son C and I took advantage of a rare autumn Sunday free of soccer, football, or social obligations to take the train into New York to enjoy “Robin Hood” by the the Seattle Children’s Theatre at the New Victory Theater. This was our second trip to the New Victory, and it’s such a fun and unique experience. The production was the opening show for the theater’s 20th season. Nowhere else is children’s programming so all encompassing. As soon as we arrived for the show, we were ushered downstairs to enjoy some themed activities including sword fight choreography, an obstacle course to collect gold coins to “give to the poor”, and a coin toss game as well as an art station for creating “Wanted” posters. One facet of the theater I didn’t notice on our first visit is the great snack bar. There is a variety of healthful and traditional snacks including vegan options at very reasonable prices. C and I hadn’t had much lunch, so I stocked up, and the total was under ten dollars. I really love how family friendly they are at New Victory! The usher team is fun and helpful and always ready with a smile to interact with the families.
After our game playing and having some of our snacks (no eating in the theater, please!), we were shown to our seats, and the action started. Though the speaking cast is just four members strong, they bring to life all of your favorite characters from this classic story. Along with well edited lighting and sound, the audience is immediately taken to the edge of Sherwood Forest as a group of desperate drifters beg into the crowd looking for spare change and dream of the legend of Robin Hood to be true. Then we were taken back many years in Nottingham, and the classic telling of the story begins. Soon, the actors are swinging across the stage, sword fighting and rocking out to air guitar–yes, really! The audience was laughing, gasping, and sitting on the edge of our seats. The elements of audience participation get everyone engaged.
The show runs one hour and 40 minutes, so there is an intermission. The concession stand is open, and if you ask before the show starts, you can have your intermission order placed then. Back downstairs, a small area was set up for the kids to participate in the “Silver Arrow Challenge,” a sticky dart archery activity. This was quite fun but was in need of some staff help; several children took up most of intermission, and many kids didn’t get to try it. We finished the treats we didn’t get to pre-showtime, and headed back to our seats.
The second half is full of adventure and excitement. We saw the Silver Arrow Challenge portrayed on stage, as well as cheered on two audience members who were called up to compete with the Sheriff in a sack race. The show does have quite a lot of swordplay, fist fighting, and unfriendly banter, so if your family is sensitive that, please take note. For C and myself, it was a lot of fun. I won’t soon forget it, and I’m sure he won’t either.
ROBIN HOOD has a running time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, including one intermission, and is recommended for everyone ages seven and up.
Tickets for ROBIN HOOD at The New Victory Theater (209 West 42nd Street) are $10, $13, $18 or $25 for NEW VICTORY Members based on seat locations, with full price tickets starting at $15.
Tickets are available online (NewVictory.org) and by telephone (646.223.3010). Beginning September 8, The New Victory Theater box office window (209 West 42nd Street) will be open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-7pm.
About Marcia Kellogg:
I am a mama living in the Hudson Valley of New York with my wonderful husband, two gorgeous children, and furry and finned pets. Aside from my family, my life revolves around FOOD–creating it, reading about it, sharing it, and eating it!! After getting a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts at The Culinary Institute of America, I realized cooking is really the area I love more, so I have taking part-time jobs as personal chef and culinary skills instructor. But even more than food, I love spending time with my family, whether it’s on the football field, baking cookies at home or going to mommy and me class. We adore traveling to see our relatives around the country, especially in Montana and Hawaii. I will make it to Europe one of these days, and I consider my only regret in life that I don’t have more stamps in my passport~