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The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

Orlando Shakes

What more could you want: sword play, romance and Brandon Roberts Style Kung Fu! The life and death decisions come from high in the power structures of the Ancien Régime. Cardinal Richelieu (Anne Hering ) makes the rules, and conflict Monsieur de Treville (Phillip Nolan) dispatches The King’s Guard to do the bloodletting. His top troops are the barley under control titular Musketeers. Technically, they don’t have muskets, just pointy swords, but that just make for more exciting stage fighting. Athos (Williams) believes his wife died, but then she gets better as he stays in Paris to fight evil. Porthos (Lizcano) does his penance after getting kicked out of seminary, and Aramis (Kmiec) just wants to marry and settle down. When the clod hopper D’Artagnan (Bonenfant) shows up, he upsets their power balance and leads us down a political rat hole with intrigue between England and France, the Queen of France (Samantha Potak) and her lover.

Plot, plot, plot EVERY where, and just as much sword fighting as you can fit on the big Stage at Shakes. It makes mob politics look simple, but it’s too hard to fight if focus on the action and not the motivation. Plenty of good actors do their part; Williams is the more thoughtful sword waver, Nolan does great slow burns, and Herring’s ring kissing fetish are all outstanding. Bonenfant bounces off the walls and exudes the confidence you need to make your living fighting. The surprise highlight is some serious physical comedy form Mr. Brandon Roberts; its late in the show but really ties a knot around this extravaganza. Kudos to Tony Simotes for his excellent fight coordination, it’s a major part of the story and wonderfully executed. This is a big blousy comedy that keeps you on the edge of your seat and ready to cheer for the good guys. French history isn’t so dull if you add enough blood and laughs!

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