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Monday, October 13, 2008

The Three Musketeers at Seattle Rep

posted by on October 13 at 14:52 PM

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.

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However, The Night Watcher, which is also at the Rep through the end of the month, is really great. Go see that instead.

Posted by hillside_hoyden | October 13, 2008 3:03 PM

the poster is nice

Posted by paulus | October 13, 2008 3:14 PM

Maybe they're just too insular and not participating in world discourse about literature.

Posted by Simac | October 13, 2008 3:39 PM

The play suffers from trying to please everyone. The plot is for a more mature audience; the jokes are for a young audience. Moreover, there was more hamminess and buffoonery than I could stomach; the sort of over-inflated characters you see in a high school play.

I've heard good things about Night Watcher. I wish I'd seen that one instead.

Posted by MEC | October 13, 2008 3:56 PM

Doesn't anyone go out without their kids anymore? Are all the babysitters unemployed? Why does all Seattle theater (including the rep)have to be so damn family friendly? Clearly the script writer never read the Dumas book.
It was a cute show and resembled the Disney version and I can't think of anything worse.

Posted by Very_Sad | October 16, 2008 1:14 PM

Well if everyone follows what Mr. Frizzelle has to say, he'll be out of a job, because everyone is at home watching tv. I believe I was at the same show and I remember hundreds of people having a pretty good time.

Posted by jack | October 17, 2008 12:10 PM

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