My school just finished staging “The Robber Bridegroom,” which, according to my knowledge, isn’t really one of the bigger stage musicals like the popular “Mamma Mia,” but a smaller production.
Still, this funny and old-timey musical was quite a hoot!
My sister got us free tickets from her class at school, and I do have to say, our seats were pretty good! The show ran Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 24 at Weber High School.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, “The Robber Bridegroom” is a musical set in 18th century Mississippi. We meet our hero ... well, we meet Jamie Lockhart, who tells the audience of the adventures that have gone down on the Natchez Trace. And yes, it’s all true.
We’re introduced to Clement Musgrove, a rich planter with a daughter named Rosamund who, coincidentally, is the most beautiful girl in all of Mississippi. Per the norm, she also has an evil stepmother named Salome, who wants Rosamund dead.
Jamie saves Mr. Musgrove from a thief named Little Harp, and Musgrove offers Jamie his daughter’s hand in marriage as thanks. Naturally, Jamie seems like a pretty nice guy, only to find out that he’s the notorious “Bandit of the Woods.”
But he’s no regular thief. He steals with style. So when he’s invited over to dinner at the Musgroves’ house, he doesn’t steal anything. Well, not yet anyway.
Salome sends Rosamund out into the woods, hoping that a dimwitted boy she hired named Goat will kill her. Goat fails, and Rosamund runs into the Bandit of the Woods, who immediately robs her of her dress stitched with gold. She falls in love with the bandit and finds him again, and romance/chaos ensues.
To make a long, if not quite complicated, story short, Little Harp mistakenly kills Salome, thinking she’s Rosamund, and he gets killed by Jamie Lockhart/The Bandit of the Woods. Rosamund finds out that Jamie and the bandit are one in the same, and she says that they can be wed now, as he didn’t know she was Mr. Musgrove’s daughter.
Jamie refuses and leaves for New Orleans, where he and Rosamund are eventually married. And now, Jamie is a lawyer! He steals with style, after all.
Happy ending for all! Well, except for Salome.
I’m not one for musicals at all. I’ve never liked them, as I don’t see the point in using song and music to further along a story. However, “The Robber Bridegroom” got to me. It was humorous, lighthearted and really fun.
The casting was great; all the characters fit their roles very well for a high school play.
On the other hand, there were a few moments when I was a bit uncomfortable. Now, keep in mind that I’m an 18-year-old who thinks like a 12-year-old. When Jamie and Rosamund kissed, I gagged. So just to keep things in perspective for you, I’m no play critic.
“The Robber Bridegroom” is supposed to be a kind of Western town play, which is totally fine. Some of the characters were robbers and bandits, and those kinds of people do bad things. However, there was an entire song about how Little Harp was going to get Rosamund all tied up. It wasn’t the easiest thing to stomach.
A lot of the jokes I loved. Little Harp keeps his brother’s decapitated head in a box, and the two sing about how having two heads is better than one. I thought Little Harp was played wonderfully, and he was probably my favorite character of the whole play, tied closely with Salome. They were very quirky and funny, and seeing how the two reacted with the ensemble of the cast was quite funny. The girl who played Salome was excellent with her accent and overall delivery.
The scenery was also very beautiful. Kudos to whomever worked on the sets and lighting. There were lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and at one point, the ensemble made a waterfall out of a sheet and actually made it look realistic!
The cast members were also used as furniture and trees in the play, which seems strange but was actually hilarious to watch.
The last thing I want to rant about is the artwork. There is a girl at my school who drew all the posters for the play, and I have to say, they are truly amazing. Every time I walked through the halls, I couldn’t stop staring at them. They got me interested in the play, and looking back on them, they resemble the actors very closely.
Overall, “The Robber Bridegroom” was a great play. Sure, there were some moments that made me shrink into my seat, but that’s customary with a musical about bandits in old Mississippi. It was really funny, and the cast engaged the audience. There was even a fourth-wall break!
Would I see it again? Well, yeah, why not? There’s nothing better than a funny musical! Except, maybe a funny movie without any singing or dancing at all. Regardless, I loved every minute 100 percent!