Through November 18|
THE 3 MUSKETEERS Shea’s 710 Theatre
Fortunately for the production of “The 3 Musketeers,” it survives the Linda Alper script and director Chris Kelly’s work because of the inherent strength of Alexandre Dumas’ story.
Dumas knew how to tell a story.
Alper and Kelly less so.
Dumas wrote this as one of a long series of his swashbuckling French historical fictions based on real people, like D’Artagnan, and foggy events like “The Man in the Iron Mask.”
Here, the callow Gascon D’Artagnan (Patrick Cameron) wants to follow in his father’s footsteps as a king’s musketeer, surviving even the hazardous trip from Gascony to Paris.
In the course of it, he meets the good guys, Porthos (Steve Copps), Athos (Christopher Avery) and Aramis (Anthony Alcocer) and the bad guy, Count de Rochefort (Chris Hatch).
The Musketeers defend the dim King Louis (Jordan Levin) against his many enemies and against his First Minister, Cardinal Richelieu (Peter Palmisano), who employs Rochefort and killer and plotter Milady (Kate LoConti).
The king is a loon, Queen Anne (Cassie Cameron) is an adulterer, the cardinal wants power and the Duke of Buckingham who runs Britain for King Charles I is an incompetent but a lover of Queen Anne.
The story is filled with characters who flit in and out, especially Constance Bonacieux (Renee Landrigan), who wants to avoid her husband and camp out with D’Artagnan.
Anyway, it’s tangled and swashbuckling which was the whole idea.
Despite Steve Vaughan’s best efforts as fight director, these fights are fairly quick and more fisticuffs than sword work and the swords sound tinny.
In this age of #metoo, there’s clearly a feeling that women have to play a larger role and that isn’t true to the story or the time, even with the murderous work and terrible fate of Milady after a kangaroo court.
Director Kelly has some strong performances, especially Fisher as musketeer commander Captain de Treville, Avery’s Athos, LoConti’s Milady and Palmisano’s Richelieu.
The show is also working with an interesting gymnastic set from Kenneth Shaw and Dixon Reynolds’ costumes.
“Musketeers” is fun and it’s a great story.
If you don’t think so, look in IMDB and see how many Three Musketeers movies have taken the story and heard “All for one and one for all.”
Dumas knew how to tell a story and Alper somewhat does.
The audience appeared to like this tangled story of love, conniving, murder and high politics.
Just so you know, D’Artagnan grew old as a soldier and died in a siege.
“The 3 Musketeers” is a failing and flailing attempt at putting on a good story.
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