Bold prison breaks, hearty sword fights, and tales of treachery and rescue are the hallmarks of French novelist Alexandre Dumas’ beloved classic, The Three Musketeers, and Synetic Theater has taken that and run with it in their newest adaptation, directed by Paata Tsikurishvili.
The Three Musketeers was written in 1844, initially in serialized form and eventually published in its entirety. So popular is this piece, that it has been adapted for television, screen, and stage multiple times over. The 2011 movie adaptation grossed over $130 million dollars worldwide. The trials of these flawed but earnest men clearly continue to inspire long after the swords have been sheathed.
Our story begins in Paris, where Queen Anne (Brynn Tucker) is having an illicit affair with the Duke of Buckingham (Mitchell Grant). The shadowy Cardinal Richelieu (Dan Istrate) wants to use this information to destroy the relationship between Queen Anne and her betrothed Louis XIII (Robert Brown Smith), guaranteeing himself greater power. He enlists the mysterious Milady (Irina Tsikurishvili) to carry out the deed, and allows Rochefort (Peter Pereyra) and his goons to continue wreak havoc across the city, happily tormenting the Musketeers.
Athos, the drunken bad boy (Ben Cunis); Aramis, the drunken womanizer (Matthew Ward); and Porthos (Hector Reynoso), the drunken entertainer, charm, battle, and party their way through a troubled France. D’Artagnan (Dallas Tolentino), a fresh-faced youth who longs to become a member of the much-lauded Musketeers becomes entangled in the Musketeers’ mission, falling in love with the gentle Constance (Brittany O’Grady), the Queen’s handmaid, along the way. When the Queen realizes her life, as well her country’s health, has been endangered by the Cardinal’s designs, the Musketeers set out to seize the day, and win back the Queen’s honor.
The plot, of course is more intricate, laced largely with political scheming and diplomatic concerns. So intricate, in fact, the programs include a two page synopsis audience members can refer to as needed. There’s much to take in, and Synetic doesn’t want you to miss a stimulant-packed second of it.
Synetic Theater uses many channels to tell its story including spoken dialogue, a rare departure from Synetic’s wordless series. This play’s action is conveyed greatly through its combat and dance choreography, the show’s greatest strength and most arresting element. The work here is deft (Choreographer, Irina Tsikurishvili; Fight Choreography, Ben Cunis), and carried out by a physically talented cast and ensemble. Movement gives this show a zing paired with the roaring soundscape composed Konstantine Lortkipandize, which orchestrates the entire piece.
The world of the Musketeers is infused with modern flourishes. A gorgeous, mystical circular centerpiece which serves as the set’s epicenter and is the heart of the action (Anastasia R. Simes).
The Three Musketeers
Closes June 9, 2013
1800 S. Bell Street
2 hours with 1 intermission
Wednesdays thru Sundays
However, Three Musketeers is so measured in its presentation, it sometimes lacks the freedom to color outside of its own lines. At times, what is witnessed feels more like a movie than a piece of live theatre. Some genuine moments are lost to the glitz, or awash in the pace. The production, while polished, lacks the simple pleasure of surprise.
Three Musketeers clearly knows who it is and where it wants to take the audience. It dares. It makes noise. It transforms a pre-classic text and refocuses the story for a modern audience raised on summer blockbusters and caffeinated drinks. Three Musketeers is not your mother’s night out at the theatre, but if you’re looking for a high-volume, stylized adaptation – epic sword fighting and all– swing by Synetic Theater and check it out.
The Three Musketeers . Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili . Choreographed by Irina Tsikurishvili . Featuringt: Dallas Tolentino (D’Artanian), Ben Cunis (Athos), Matt Ward (Aramis), Hector Reynoso (Porthos), Brittany O’Grady (Constance), Robert Bowen Smith (King Louis XIII), Brynn Tucker (Queen Anne), Dan Istrate (Cardinal Richelieu), Peter Pereyra (Rochefort), Irina Tsikurishvili (Milady), Michell Grant (Buckingham), Vato Tsikurishvili (Felton), Zana Gankhuyag (Ensemble), Rebecca Hauman (Ensemble), Kathy Gordon (Ensemble), Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly (Ensemble). Produced by Synetic Theater. Reviewed by Sarah Ameigh.
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