Trisha Shepherd">

Action and passion-packed “The Three Musketeers” opens at IRT

I’ll admit, my memory about the plot of “The Three Musketeers” was fuzzy, but that didn’t matter. I told my 10-year-old daughter with confidence that we’d have a great time. The Three Musketeers opened onstage at the IRT this past weekend.

The IRT {Indiana Repertory Theatre} knows how to put on exquisite productions brought to life by world-class actors in a gorgeous downtown Indy theatre. I knew at the very least we would see great acting, stunning costumes, an impressive set and lighting design, and some memorable sword fights.

Guess what: I was right! And then some.

Three Musketeers IRT _ Indy's Child

This play, set in France, is a Catherine Bush adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic written in 1844. As director Henry Woronicz puts it, “The Three Musketeers is a tale of lovers in peril, conspiracies, escapes, sword fights, knife fights, near misses, passionate kisses, tavern brawls, poison, revenge, heroism, and death. But also, of course…love.”

Three Musketeers IRT _ Indy's Child

The plot was exciting, suspenseful, and surprisingly easy to follow. The sword fighting was IMPRESSIVE – certainly swashbuckling, well-executed and intricate. (Nice work, fight director Paul Dennhardt!) I loved how the costumes, lights, music and set worked together to set the tone and paint beautiful, historic pictures.

What stood out to me the most, however, was the casting. Each actor seemed perfect for his or her role. Jeb Burris was strong and lovable as the daring D’Artagnan fighting for his true love and the chance to become one of the King’s Musketeers. The three title characters, Ryan Artzberger as Athos, David Folsom as Porthos, and Nathan Hosner as Aramis, effectively brought their musketeers’ unique personality quirks to the surface, while playing artfully with the humor that weaves throughout the dramatic script. (I did not expect to laugh so much!) Scot Greenwell as Planchet (who parents may recognize as one of the talented actors/interpeters at the Children’s Museum and the Indiana History Center) drew applause with a scene-stealing moment that proved his character should NOT be underestimated. Beautifully played!

Three Musketeers IRT _ Indy's Child

I left the evening haunted by the chilling performance of Elizabeth Laidlaw as Milady De Winter. Her power and presence is a force to be reckoned with, and she was a mesmerizing villain – right up until her final shocking moment on stage. WOW. I’ll definitely be watching for other places to see her perform. (The Chicago-based actress is the founder and artistic director of Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre, and has a long list of impressive theatre and television credits in her bio.)

Three Musketeers IRT _ Indy's ChildSeeing productions of this caliber make me so proud of our city. I am so grateful that there are so many sponsors, donors and patrons who understand the value of high-quality, live theatre. I’m so glad to be able to immerse myself and my children in these experiences. Theatre takes us outside of ourselves and outside of time, and plunges us into rich, complex stories that make us feel.

Parents considering bringing kids should be aware that there is some realistic violence (obviously!), mild language, and a bar scene. The IRT recommends the show for children in sixth grade and up.

If you’re wondering if it will hold your kids’ attention, here’s my daughter Clara’s unprompted review: “I thought it would be boring, but it was really, really good!”

I hope many people will support Indiana theatre and enjoy this classic, epic adventure – “All for one…and one for all!”

MORE INFO: The IRT production of “The Three Musketeers” runs through October 15 at the One America Mainstage at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, located at 140 W. Washington St, Indianapolis. Prices start at $25. Visit www.irtlive.com for tickets and information.


[trisha]
 

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