“A thief, a thief… What is a thief?” That’s a popular line sung in the intelligent and completely charming performance of Rosalynde & the Falcon at Talespinner Children’s Theatre.
And this wasn’t just a chant — it was a line explored in many different ways. Is it okay for Robin Hood to steal from the rich and give to the poor? Are we thieves if we tell stories with elements from other stories? Interesting perspectives to ponder for young and old alike.
The tale is an amalgamation of many tales. It’s an original, written by local playwright David Hansen, but it carries on elements from classic fairy tales like Robin Hood and Snow White. The tale begins with a spirited Rosalynde (Shayla Gordon) being exiled from a throne that should be hers by her evil uncle (Christopher Walker). Her best friend Roland (Devon Turchan) is dismayed and together they come up with a plan — she is to stay in the area yet disguise herself as a man.
She dons her alternate identity — which goes from merely a boy to a “falcon” bent on social justice — and heads for the woods where she lands in the home of a group of wise-cracking thieves (Charles Hargrave, Valerie C. Kilmer and Tim Pringpuangkeo).
The jokes come fast with these Marx Brother-like bandits, and they definitely aren’t dumbed downed for the kids. Everything from paper puns to politics are fodder for their antics. While kids might not pick up on all the references, they will laugh at the slapstick and facial expressions of the actors. I think pretty much everyone laughed at something in the play.
Rosalynde & the Falcon is not merely kids’ stuff. It’s interesting enough for everyone to enjoy and is well-written and makes for a lively performance. Take your favorite kid or teen and watch the tale — which has somewhat of a twist ending — unravel before your eyes. The epilogue is inspiring, underscoring the power of a good story, much like this one.
Rosalynde & the Falcon runs through Sun 4/19.
Cool Cleveland editor Sarah Valek studied art and writing at Ithaca College. After graduation, she came back to Cle and served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. She can be found on all sides of the city in pursuit of homeschooling activities for her son and the perfect soy latte. Contact her at CoolEditorATCoolCleveland.com or via Twitter.