BWW Review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS is Riveting at Syracuse Stage
Syracuse Stage begins its new season with the enthralling play of "The Three Musketeers." The production marks the directorial debut of Syracuse Stage's Artistic Director Robert Hupp, and it's a good one. The swashbuckling adventure is packed with sword fighting, dramatic entrances, gorgeous period costumes, original music compositions, impressive sets, and highly talented actors.
Catherine Bush adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's familiar 1844 tale centers around a young man named D'Artagnan (Travis Staton-Marrero). He's from the country and hopes to become one of the heroic and brave Musketeers. Monsieur de Treville (Jason Collins), the Captain of the King's Musketeers, tells young D'Artagnan that he must prove himself a Musketeer. D'Artagnan becomes friends with three Musketeers named Athos (Matthew Greer), Aramis (Seth Andrew Bridges), and Porthos (Chaz Rose) after he proves that he is loyal to them and joins in on sword fighting.
While there is friendship and adventure, there is also romance. The young aspiring Musketeer falls in love with the Queen Anne of Austria's (Courtney Green) maid, Constance Bonacieux (Kyra Stevens). Constance's father, Monsieur Bonacieux (John Long), is D'Artagnan's landlord. D'Artagnan delivers a note the Queen wrote to her lover Lord Buckingham (Weston Barnwell) so that Constance doesn't put herself in danger. Athos, Aramis, and Porthos fight alongside D'Artagnan for the Queen's honor and Constance's protection While trying to protect those they love and respect, the Musketeers and D'Artagnan must deal with Cardinal Richelieu's (Mitch Tebo) treachery and his vicious spies Rochefort (Chris Hatch) and Lady de Winter (Nikki Coble).
The artistic elements come together to create an exciting spectacle leaving the audience mesmerized. To set the stage for the exciting tale, set designer Stanley A. Meyer constructed an impressive set with two grand staircases, various doors, and many platforms. It easily accommodates almost twenty different locations for the adventure. I think the grand set is one of the most memorable designs that has graced Syracuse Stage. The transformative set accommodates the intricate and detailed fights brilliantly choreographed by D. C. Wright. The action never stops and it is intensified by Yael Lubetzky's dramatic lighting, Jonathan Herter's sound design, along with the original music compositions by Ryan Rumery. The fifty plus costumes by Marianne Custer are perfection. They suit each character and capture the time period beautifully. Designed with the fight scenes in mind as well as the character, the costumes, along with the wigs by Robert Pickens, are breathtaking to see on stage as the actors move about.
The technical elements aren't the only winning ingredients for this production. Director Hupp has assembled a talented and professional cast, all of whom give the performances their all. The cast members' natural chemistry with one another is noteworthy as they work together playing various characters. The actors are meticulous with not only the fight choreography, but with each performance element.
Travis Staton -Marrero is comedic, daring, and confident as the aspiring Musketeer D'Artagnan. Staton-Marrero's sword fighting skills, athleticism, and line delivery makes his character captivating. Likewise, Kyra Stevens is poised, charming, and graceful in the role of Constance Bonacieux. Staton-Marrero and Stevens' chemistry with one another really adds to the romance of the story.
Jason Collins is extremely comedic as Monsieur de Treville. His many facial expressions as he interacts with his Musketeers and his servant Planchet make a lasting impression. Claro Austria, as Planchet, is hilarious and energetic every moment he is on stage. Thanks to his impressive fighting technique and agility, he steals the spotlight in one of the fight scenes.
Matthew Greer, Seth Andrew Bridges, and Chaz Rose as the three Musketeers that befriend D'Artangnan are all comedic, confident, and witty in their line delivery. The three of them, along with Staton-Marrero, move harmoniously together in all of the swashbuckling fight scenes.
Those cast in the villainous roles also deliver a dose of perfection. Chris Hatch gives a standout performance in all the fight scenes as Rochefort. Nikki Coble, as Milady (Lady de Winter), delivers a confident performance full of attitude. She demonstrates her ability to fight and duel just as well as all the men around her. Mitch Tebo is comedic and sly as he portrays the egotistical and deceitful Cardinal Richelieu.
Other standout performances include John Long as the kind and fatherly Monsieur Bonacieux and the self-centered King Louis. Weston Barnwell as the Lord Buckingham, Courtney Green as Anne of Austria, and Mara Laurene Reltian as Kitty also all deliver memorable performances.
The Three Musketeers sets the bar high for the rest of the season at Syracuse Stage. The set, acting, fight scenes, costumes, lighting, music, and so much more is riveting. Director Hupp's directorial debut does not disappoint and the production is a must-see for all.
Running Time: Approximately two hours and ten minutes with one fifteen-minute intermission.
The Three Musketeers runs through October 8, 2017 at the Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex. For tickets and information on this production and upcoming productions call 315.443.3275 or click here.