Theater The Three Musketeers at Seattle Rep
posted by October 13 at 14:52 PMon
Itís hard to fathom why a major theater like Seattle Rep is doing The Three Musketeers right now—unless its total irrelevance to the outside world, the reprieve it offers from contemporary anxieties, is the point. If so, one expects a richly imagined, temporally transporting, violent, romantic, swashbuckling escapist fantasia, with funny asides thrown in. But it is none of these things.
In order for it to hold anyoneís attention—what with the gripping theater that is the election/economy swirling all around us—these French guys would really have to go after each other with those swords, really sweat and fight and bleed. But the fencing is exciting none of time and the hand-to-hand combat is embarrassing, with huge windows of air between puncher and punchee. The costumes are fine, but the set reverberates with the message: We didnít have the money to do something nicer. In the absence of rich escapism, director Kyle Donnelly has settled on a slapstick gloss. There is, painfully, only about one laugh for every ten the actors are made to really go for. Not even the good actors involved (Hans Altweis as Athos) can save it. You want swashbuckling, for a lot less money? Turn on MSNBC/CNN/Comedy Central.