Robyn Hood: Boyz in the Hood at Off Broadway Theatre | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Robyn Hood: Boyz in the Hood at Off Broadway Theatre 

Through Saturday July 10

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If it weren’t for my morbid fear of being singled out and humiliated, I’d likely attend more improv comedy. I’m a big fan of the genre’s chaotic daffiness, but in audience-participation situations, I tend to seize up and blurt out the first lame thing that pops into my head. So, a scripted production like Laughing Stock’s Robyn Hood: Boyz in the Hood offers the best of both worlds: The only audience participation required is booing the villain and cheering the hero.

“Scripted” may not be the right word. According to director Eric B. Armstrong, “almost all of it is improvised,” but the only cast members allowed to improvise onstage are the actual members of Laughing Stock. Others have to get permission before changing a line.

While it’s definitely a family-friendly show, the pop-culture references are very Gen-X. So, it’s kind of an odd duck, like children’s theater for adults. Dead-souled hipster poseurs won’t like it. The humor is obvious and squeaky-clean, like a Mel Brooks-y vaudeville revival without a hint of burlesque.

But, once I forgot to be hip, I laughed my ass off. When the show works—which is most of the time—it’s very funny. It’s innocent and earnest, but who needs to be edgy and cynical all the time?

No clue why Robyn’s name is spelled that way, but who cares? It’s a fun production, and if there’s a ray of sunshine left in your heart of darkness, you will be entertained.

Robyn Hood: Boyz in the Hood @ Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, 801-355-4628, Monday, Friday & Saturdays, through July 10, 7:30 p.m., $8-$16.

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