Thursday, October 19, 2017

review - THE THREE MUSKETEERS - Southwest Shakespeare Company

Spencer Dooley, Keath Hall, Aaron Blanco, Shelby Daeffler, and Andy Cahoon
photo by Patrick Walsh
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through October 28th.

".Alexandre Dumas' classic 1844 action tale "The Three Musketeers" got a slightly comical update in the 2004 stage adaptation from playwright Ken Ludwig. Southwest Shakespeare Company fills the stage of the Mesa Arts Center with exceptional, non-stop swordplay, and their talented cast create rich and identifiable roles in this fun and frilly production....Ludwig is well known for his hilarious scripts for the Tony Award winning musical Crazy for You and his Tony-nominated Lend Me a Tenor. While audiences familiar with those shows may be expecting his Three Musketeers to reach the same heights of comic hilarity those two popular shows achieved, he strangely keeps most of the humor at a minimum and follows Dumas' action-themed story fairly closely, though with some nice added characters and touches. The best addition he makes is to add a sister for D'Artagnan, a feisty tomboy who is also a gifted swordswoman and factors nicely into the plot. Director Jesse James Kamps has assembled a cast who throw themselves into their roles with a gleeful passion...and he keeps the action-centric plot fairly focused. As D'Artagnan, Andy Cahoon is a charming, eager and ambitious lad ...Spencer Dooley, Keath Hall, and Aaron Blanco form a fun, frolicking and fearsome trio of friends who just happen to also be the famous musketeers. Blanco also choreographed the exceptional fight sequences which are varied, robust, and well executed by the large cast....Tiana Torrilhon's large set includes some lovely stone arches and curved steps that are beautifully lit by Daniel Davisson to evoke the different times of day and locations in the plot. I just wish that some of the large static set had elements that moved, such as having the stairs change position to form a different stage image, which would better transform into the numerous locations in the plot. The costumes by Jessica Florez are superb and include various fabrics with touches of velvet and embroidery. ...Full of courage, bravery and plenty of swashbuckling vigor, The Three Musketeers isn't quite as broadly comical as Ludwig's other plays, which could prove a bit of a disappointment for any fans of his more famous farces. However, with a passionate cast, sumptuous creative elements, and some stunning fight choreography, Southwest Shakespeare's production makes for a highly entertaining and incredibly fun adventure. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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