Theater Review: The Three Musketeers
Tweetable Review: Lifeline Theatre’s The Three Musketeers – an enjoyable ride but lacks cohesiveness
Upon entreating Lifeline Theatre’s space in Rogers Park, audiences will be confronted to a sparse and tactile set built in part by large bolts, metal rigging and industrial lighting. The visual gives way to a strong and grounded sensibility but looks can be deceiving, and for The Three Musketeers, the newest show to be mounted at Lifeline (celebrating its 30th Anniversary) audiences will be thrust an adaptation which seems to lack strong direction or motivation to make this production exciting.
Pursuing his dream to join the Musketeers, young d’Artagnan travels to Paris, where he befriends the legendary Three Inseparables: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. His acts of bravery catch the eye of King Louis XIII, but ensnare d’Artagnan in the deadly schemes of Cardinal Richelieu and the treacherous Milady Clarik. When the love of his life is kidnapped on the eve of war, d’Artagnan must weigh his loyalties and question the meaning of honor in an age of moral ambiguity. Journey from Paris to London, from countryside taverns to glittering palaces, from a humble Gascon farm to the siege of La Rochelle, in an epic tale of passion, intrigue, and adventure.
The Three Musketeers adapted weakness isn’t largely with anything specific in regards to Production but the original material as a whole. Overall, there are extraneous points which playwright Robert Kauzlaric feels necessary to hold on to to which director Amanda Delheimer Dimond must contend with in transforming Musketeers into a piece that flows smoothly. As the 2nd Story Artistic Director, Dimond has nobly stepped up to bat in Musketeers by combatting a thick and mixed script with bold artistic choices in both staging and pacing. Too many areas of note focus on miniature scenes so as soon as we get into the story, we get pulled out by scene transitions and darkness. Fortunately, Dimond’s staging is built up by Matt Hawkins’ ample fight choreography which contains a spectrum of broad movements but manages to engage with flourishes of intricacies when needed.
Set and lighting design take a strong stance in The Three Musketeers but much like the deconstructed costumes and fragmented sound design, also end up falling into the same nondescript function in this production, by displaying their conventions too broad in order to cover a wide range of script coverage. There are a great number of ideas on display here inThe Three Musketeers but they aren’t all driving in the same direction and as such we never fully grasp the entire World we are in.
Overall, the current production is enjoyable if you are looking for an action filled piece of stage work to catch in early Summer. The cast is talented, the fights are enchanting to watch and the piece is a good opportunity to take in some classic material that isn’t mounted very often. With that said, the particular performance which I attended didn’t seem completely polished which is surprising given the typical fare of Lifeline – lets hope that it was simply an off night.
Please note this is a partial review, please click HERE to read full review at Fresh Roasted Films
~ Matt Miles, 24/7 Contributor
Producer of Fresh Roasted Films
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