reviewed by Ken Klingenmeier
Indiana Repertory Theatre opens the 2016-17 season with The Three Musketeers – a play by Catherine Bush, adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ eponymic 1844 novel. Ms. Bush has produced a mostly faithful reflection of the original, dramatizing the famous story with an adventurous styling that presents the tale’s heroes with all the necessary flourish and swash. I especially enjoyed her use of the portrayals of memories, which include the story-telling in words shown beside the action of said story.
Set on the ultra-adaptable scenic design of William Bloodgood, with actors dressed in perfect costumes designed by Devon Painter, director Henry Woronicz has laid down a smooth presentation that is sweeping and seamless. Scene changes happen before our eyes as if turning a page. No chance for humor is ever lost in the ultimate drama of the story, and Woronicz has made certain any of Ms. Bush’s alterations to the original as presented without question. Striking sound elements by Barry G. Funderburg and impressive lighting designed by Ann G. Wrightson add much to the final product.
A rather large cast of 17 portray the population of the play, most supplying a number of roles. Standouts include Ryan Artzberger, David Folsom and Nathan Hosner as the three musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis, respectively. Jeb Burris joins in as the hopeful d’Artagnan. All four display themselves as agile and worthy heroes. Their swordplay, excellently choreographed by Paul Dennhardt, is lively and realistic. Dan Kremer is excellently villainous as Cardinal Richelieu, joined in like force by Rob Johansen as his nefarious henchman Rochefort and Elizabeth Laidlaw as a conniving Milady de Winter.
Amanda Catania is lovely as d’Artagnan’s sweetheart, Constance, while Charles Goad and Scot Greenwell generate most of the tale’s laughs as Goad’s King Louis XII minces about self-centeredly, and Greenwell’s Planchet shows surprising fight skills. The remainder of the ensemble members contribute first-rate skills in what looks to be an enjoyable endeavor for them all.
The total combination of excellent staging, dynamic depictions of familiar characters and a heroic story of romance plus intrigue fills the IRT stage to the brim.
Bottom-line: All in all, this is quite an engaging adventure accented by the usual stunning stagecraft designs one comes to expect from any IRT production. It makes for a very entertaining and worthwhile evening.
IRT’s The Three Musketeers continues on the OneAmerica Mainstage through October 15. For more information about tickets and show schedule call 317.635.5252 or go online at http://www.irtlive.com.
- Banner artwork by Kyle Ragsdale
- Photos by Zach Rosing