From the Author of such prolific shows as “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Parade” with one he won the Pulitzer and an Oscar, the other a Tony award, then you have The Robber Bridegroom. This little known musical is a hoot and a holler’ literally, it is a musical comedy romp through the back woods of the “Natchez” River in Mississippi. This musical is a bit of old fashion melodrama mixed with Shakespearian comedies. Filled with mistaken Identities, a couple of evil villains, and the village idiot, this show is a complete piece of fluff and it’s a lot of fun to partake in!
The Mary Moody Northen Theatre at St. Edwards University is producing this show now. Directed by Danny Herman with Musical Direction by Susan Finnigan, this production is fun, but with a few areas that could be better. There are however many many good qualities. The best parts of this production are the casting choices, Brian Coughlin as Clemment Musgrove is the loving dotting father he should be with his classic good looks and deep baritone voice he is the image of a southern plantation owner. The role of Jamie Lockhart the famed “robber of the woods” and the gentleman caller played by Matt Buzonas who exudes talent and shows that he will go far once he finishes his time at St. Edwards. However the real stand out of the cast is Meredith McCall as the evil stepmother and the villain of the show Salome. McCall delivers witty lines with expert timing and makes the most of every opportunity to steal the show.
The show lacks in the pacing and at many times it feels like the cast does not take their characters far enough. There is a feeling of seriousness through the show like they are performing a historical reenactment, instead of a silly over the top musical comedy full of things like talking heads in trunks and boys named “Goat.” This I feel is more of a director issue than the entire casts fault. However I do feel like the show is good and worth the trip to see it. There is a lot of fun and a lot of giggles to be had at seeing this show. The Robber Bridegroom continues through April 26. I give this show 3 out of 5 stars.