Chivalry is alive and well at The Arts at Bishop Hendricken in "The Three Musketeers, a swashbuckling, lustful and intriguing adaptation of this classic tale. The show is an action-packed adaptation of the adventures of D'Artagnan and his band of Musketeers as they fight the rule of a dishonest Cardinal and protect the ones they love. Double crossings, kidnappings, and carefully guarded secrets keep the Musketeers in constant battle against their enemies. The show features lavish sword fights, sweeping romance, and witty dialogue. It is an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel by Charles Morey and is set in France in 1625. From fast and furious duels to the dangerous streets of Paris by night, "The Three Musketeers" celebrates honor, romance and friendship and a lust for life. The story focuses on the handsome young D'Artagnan, a country boy determined to be a hero, and his adventures in Paris with Athos, Porthos and Aramis, the hardiest, wittiest and most reckless of the King's Musketeers. Quickly embroiled in romantic affairs, intrigue, evil plots and ferocious duels, he learns that being a hero is more complicated than he thought. Director Richie Sylvia takes the audience on an exciting journey to yesteryear with topnotch costumes and set pieces to show how friendship conquers all odds and how unity of spirit can overcome all obstacles with tragic and comic moments along the way.
Richie blocks this show wonderfully. He casts 48 students. Brother John Kiernan built the splendid two story unit set while the gorgeous period costumes are by Tiffany Signorelli. Theresa Pearson choreographs the waltz and Jason LeClair choreographs some marvelous sword fight segments that leave the audience breathless at the students expertise. Especially impressive is the one happening during the ball scene. This version of the show is a series of vignettes and is narrated by Christian Dessler as Dumas who also plays several characters in the show. He does an excellent job in this huge role and the laughs come when he decides to change the events of the show, the whole cast stops and changes to what he is telling the audience. After D'Artagnan is challenged to a duel by each of the three musketeers, they are attacked by the Cardinal's guards, the four unite and escape. He and his new love interest, Constance, help the French queen give a piece of jewelry to her paramour, the Duke of Buckingham. The Cardinal learns of this and coaxes the French king to hold a ball where the queen must wear the jewelry because its absence will reveal her infidelity. The four companions retrieve it from England. The Cardinal kidnaps Constance who is later rescued by the queen. D'Artagnan meets Milady de Winter and discovers she is a felon. The Cardinal recruits Milady to kill Buckingham. After she is captured, she seduces her guard and escapes to the monastery in France where the queen secreted Constance. Milady kills her and after the four companions arrive, Athos identifies Milady as a multiple murderess and his former wife. D'Artagnan is offered a blank musketeer officer's commission and he takes it becoming a well known lieutenant at last.
Luke Lamontagne is fantastic as D'Artagnan. His athletic skills are used beautifully in this role as he tumbles over chairs during the sword fight. The three musketeers are Ron Kitts, as Athos whose secret past influences the events of the present, Sean O'Connor as Porthos, the comic musketeer who reminds you of Sancho from Man of la Mancha and Ryan Champlin as Aramis the musketeer who studied to be a priest. They are dynamite in these roles and experts at sword play. The evil cunning Cardinal Richelieu is Eliot Colantuono who oozes evilness from every pore. Eliot usually plays comic characters but excels at this dramatic role.The heroine Constance is played by beautiful blonde, Molly Gregory who gets the audience to root for her. Alex Andrews, a raven haired beauty plays the evil, treacherous Milady. She is splendid as this nefarious woman especially impressive in the knife fighting scene with Luke and as she stabs three other characters to death. Anne, the queen is played by Rebecca Hurd who is a spitfire in this role while her foppish husband, Louis is well played by Andrew Osmanski. Brendan McNamara, a lanky blond plays the romantic role of Buckingham. Kudos to Richie and his 48 member cast. So for a trip back to the days of The Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan, be sure to catch this terrific show at Hendricken.