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Python-esque Robin Hood to take the stage

Special Correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: May 1, 2013 at 08:31 AM
PLANT CITY -

Tom Guerre has been involved with the Plant City Entertainment community-acting group since 1986 and has performed in a variety of genres along the way.

However, he said PCE’s latest production, of Mary Lynn Dobson’s “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood,” is one of the most lively he’s acted in. Based on the classic fable, the 2000 farcical comedy blends the dry puns of Mel Brooks with the bizarre, breaking-the-fourth-wall insanity of Monty Python in Robin Hood’s quest to help the needy.

The play will show at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. May 9-11 at the PCE theater, 101 N. Thomas St. It is the spring production of the group’s four-show annual season.

Guerre, who began acting in Gary, Ind., in 1968, said Robin Hood is a fun play for the cast and gets the audience involved through the lines.

“It’s just a very fun, relaxed comedy. The audience can have a lot of fun along with the show and the characters,” he said.

Before the Tuesday night rehearsal in the theater, co-directors Tyler and Angela Hollis said they chose to produce the play because it gives the cast and crew a lot of liberty. He said customized sets and off-the-cuff sight gags are encouraged.

“We really had the freedom with this show to kind of take it and run with it. We get to add in what we really find funny,” said Tyler, 34, who has been with PCE for about 18 years and is directing his sixth play.

Tyler said the production crew added many sound effects and the actors input a lot of physical humor into Dobson’s original script. In addition, some of the cast of more than 20 — which includes actors from teens to seniors — play multiple roles and range from novice to veteran actors.

Domonic Botto, 21, who plays the lead in “Robin Hood,” is in his first production with PCE. He said the play would be fun not only for the audience but also for the actors. It’s his first lead in a play and the Valrico resident said although the part is challenging, it’s also a good time.

“This is a really, really fun play. It’s fun for us and it’s going to be fun for the audiences,” said Botto. The cast also includes residents of Brandon, Lithia, Riverview and Lakeland.

In addition to the cast, the crew includes set designer Cody Wade and painter Paul Hetrick, PCE’s president.

Tickets for “Robin Hood” are $14, $12 for seniors and $10 for PCE members. For more information, visit www.pce-inc .com or call (813) 927-0595.

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