Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” is now playing at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ), just in time to ease our post-“Game of Thrones” angst. There is sword-play aplenty with Athos (John Keabler), Porthos (Paul Molnar), and charming Aramis (Alexander Sovronsky), as well as the youthful D’Artagnan (Cooper Jennings). But this adaptation includes, among the coolest heads of all, D’Artagnan’s younger sister Sabine (Courtney McGowan), who is a decent hand with a sword herself. Already she has the perspicacity to assess a situation before darting in like D’Artagnan–see what Dumas did there? And Ludwig’s signature humor permeates a roller coaster romp of an evening that’s fun for those who are still teens to those whose teens are a fond memory. This cast is full of many of our favorite STNJ regulars as well.
We know the story of dedicated, mischievous men, who are dedicated to the comic and foppish King Louis XIII (Michael Stewart Allen) and his beautiful Queen Anne (Fiona Robberson). This is Paris in 1625, yet Court intrigue abounds with the slippery unctuous perfection of Cardinal Richelieu (Bruce Cromer), whose imagination is the only boundary to his ambition. Richelieu manipulates the King so thoroughly that one is looking for the marionette strings and some may perhaps draw a parallel between Then and Now. Comic relief is abundant in the antics of Rochefort (Jeffrey M. Bender) and his henchman RAVANCHE! Bender and Patrick Toon together, as Thing One and Thing Two, are rollicking good fun together and Rick Sordelet is the Director of this merry mayhem, salting in many sight gags that you’d best be sharp to see or you’ll wonder why everyone else is laughing. Some are in slow reveal, others like a razor cut are only seen with the thin line of their passing. Christian Kelly-Sordelet, Rick’s offspring, is the fight director on this show and talents abound within the cast as well. Milady (Anastasia Le Gendre) is a fight director herself, as evidenced in her Mach One ability with a bull whip, and Aramis is not only sexy and charming, but Sovronsky is also the sound designer and music director, who goes for Baroque in arranging a very popular song that the King has penned himself—and you will find this show has well more than one Queen.
While Louis plays, so does the Queen. Anne’s flirtation with the winsome, handsome Duke of Buckingham (Clark Scott Carmichael) is the stuff of legend, as is the derring-do, by our Musketeers, that rescues the day. And it is all the machinations of the winsome Constance (Billie Wyatt), who puts the wheels in motion–again with the clear vision for the meta view that many young women have, especially those who manage to survive the Court intrigue.
“Three Musketeers” kicks off STNJ’s dazzling 2019-2020 season, but it’s gone July 7. Go back in time and see that while times change, people really don’t and, oh, the places you’ll go! Tickets make great Graduation gifts! Call 973/408-5600 now or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org
for your tickets today.