Heroes our culture can’t stop recycling: James Bond. Batman. And, though you may not have thought about this one unless you’ve visited Bethesda’s Round House Theatre for a new origin story of another legend, Robin Hood.
Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Mel Brooks, Sinatra’s Rat Pack, the fox in the animated Disney movie — these and many more have taken a stab at the fable of the noble forest archer who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. The twist in Jon Klein’s new play is that Robin’s a teen and the story is geared to family theaters. That’s a growth niche, and Klein’s “Young Robin Hood” stands a good chance of becoming a staple.
Klein makes the expected updates — you don’t have to be a white male to get a good role in this show — and gives young Robin an early adventure against Nottingham’s flamboyantly villainous sheriff. Predictable as the new spin is, “Young Robin Hood” swashbuckles along with the brisk, nearly mindless efficiency of a popcorn picture. Klein’s scripts have been known to hit the mysterious sweet spot for regional theaters (“T Bone N Weasel” and “Betty the Yeti” are among his widely produced credits), and “Young Robin Hood” is nothing if not playable.