Gold side performs “A Very Notti Musical” for the College Night 2017. Photo by Erica Proctor.

Gold Side transports their audience to a nostalgic retelling of “Robin Hood” with a twist. The three Merry Men introduce us to the current state of affairs in Nottingham, or as everyone calls it, “the ‘Ham.” The people of the ‘Ham are ridden with poverty and corruption from the Sheriff and Prince John. They dream of the return of their hero, Robin Hood, and during the opening number are pleasantly surprised by his return as well as the prospect of a party in Robin’s honor at Little John’s tavern.

Maiden Marian narrowly misses Robin’s return and with her ladies-in-waiting laments her love for a “sleaze” like Robin in “I’ve Got It Bad.”

We change scenes to Prince John’s throne room, where the Prince is lamenting his lack of popularity with the townspeople. The ridiculous gullibility of the Prince is showcased when the Sheriff is able to convince him that a money bag he dropped was from gambling with the townspeople when in actuality, he was pocketing tax money. The Sheriff takes further steps to increase his income by convincing the Prince his lack of popularity is because he isn’t tough enough and should actually increase the taxes, resulting in a classic Gold Side boys’ number consisting of an intricate dance called “Tough Love.”

Following this, Maid Marian and her ladies come to speak to Prince John, but are locked in the castle by the Sheriff to keep them from telling Robin of the planned tax increase. However, Marian’s ladies-in-waiting have a plan to dress her as a man in “Gotta Find That Man,” and Marian is able to escape by disguising herself as a man to warn Robin at the party in Little John’s tavern.

Meanwhile at the tavern, the people of the ‘Ham are drinking in celebration of Robin’s return while Robin basks in the limelight of his adoring fans in “He’s Robin.” When Marian arrives she unveils herself to Robin while he’s in the embrace of four local women, assessing their “needs and how best to fulfill them.” Robin’s sleaziness does not deter Marian from doing what is right for the town and revealing the impending tax increase to the town hero. Robin takes initiative and encourages the townspeople to help him take Prince John’s crown in a rock number called “Get Away with the Crown.”

After the party, Robin and Maid Marian have a romantic discussion about their future underneath the moonlight of Sherwood Forest. Marian confesses her love and her desire to marry Robin and spend their lives together helping the poor while Robin confesses how much he loves her love of him. They perform “Loving Robin,” and before they part Marian tells Robin to meet her at the church the following morning. However, when Marian arrives at the church the next day Friar Tuck informs her that Robin left earlier with another woman. This leaves Marian in a state of confusion as to whether Robin is right for her, but puts her in the perfect position to save the ‘Ham when Prince John comes for confession.

Friar Tuck leaves Marian alone in the church to get food for his “munchies” when the royal trumpets announce the Prince’s arrival. Marian deftly hides in the confessional to avoid the discovery that she escaped the castle, but when she makes a move to leave, Prince John hears the disturbance thinking that the Friar fell asleep in the confessional. Marian once again disguises herself as a man, but this time in voice to pass as the Friar while the Prince unloads the truth of the tax increase in “Confessions.” After Prince John leaves, Marian rushes to tell Robin the truth to save the manipulated Prince and the town of Nottingham.

Marian arrives in the town square before the proclamation and informs Robin of how they were wrong about the Prince all along, but Robin is not satisfied. He tells Marian to allow his coup to go forward, and Marian leaves in frustration while the townspeople prepare for the “Royal Proclamation,” an unprecedented, fun rap song where the goofy Prince mistakenly tells the townspeople he knows what they want—a tax increase. Robin interrupts the announcement as the Sheriff berates the townspeople for being unwilling to pay, “like what/ what/ eighty cents.”

Robin Hood and the Merry Men restrain the Sheriff and the Prince while Robin floats the idea of him taking the crown. Marian takes a stand to right the situation, exposing the Sheriff as a crook and Robin as selfish. Marian’s valiant actions lead the Prince to appoint her as the new Sheriff. The ‘Ham leaves us optimistic for their future in “Welcome to the ‘Ham” with Maid Marian and Prince John at the helm.