At first glance, it wouldn't be difficult to mistake Amanda Delheimer Dimond's production of Alexandre Dumas's classic story of swashbuckling and brotherhood for a children's show, what with the GUTS-style obstacle course set by Alan Donahue and the bright red and blue modern costumes under SWAT vests by Aly Renee Amidei. Even Glenn Stanton’s guileless turn as D’Artagnan, the provincial but quest-minded protagonist on a voyage to join Aramis (Dwight Sora), Athos (Chris Hainsworth) and Porthos (Christopher M. Walsh) in servitude to the king, seems to be plucked out of a video game. That’s not necessarily to its or his discredit. For all of The Three Musketeers’s more mature and nuanced themes—17th-century political and religious conflict, women bound by social order to extraordinarily unfair situations (here, Queen Anne is married to a raging queen), the ugly sides of honor and duty—Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation centers on and embraces the story’s more lighthearted action and whimsy.
Much credit belongs to Matt Hawkins and his flashy, gymnastic fight choreography. With 14 actors and more than 50 characters, Hawkins and Dimond make use of the entire Lifeline stage, eliciting more than a few genuine gasps as guardsmen spar on and around the set’s ladders, poles and raised platforms. Acrobatic ensemble member Kyle Vincent Terry, in particular, is a standout among an already strong and game ensemble.
There’s something left unreconciled, though, between the breezy and at times campy direction and the subjects being handled. Dimond keeps things zipping along, though it’s hard to shake the feeling that some of Dumas’s expansive plot points are more of a burden than the show’s core.