The Three Musketeers

Based on the play by Alexandre Dumas
Adapted by Eberle Thomas
Directed by Jacqueline Lowry
American Globe Theatre
145 West 46th Street (869-9809)
Equity Showcase (closes May 3)

Review by Dudley Stone

Completing its ninth season, the American Globe Theatre presented a serviceable adaptation (by Eberle Thomas) of Alexander Dumas's The Three Musketeers. This story, full of l'action and l'amour that are central to so many of the over 277 novels of this French prodigy, including The Man in the Iron Mask and the Count of Monte Cristo, is quite familiar to many from various film and television productions.

Those who love the exciting swordplay in films like Robin Hood, Scaramouche, and The Mask of Zorro, may wonder whether the essential fencing in The Globe's production measured up. Here's the good news: it wass quite dazzling! (Fight Directors: Dan O'Driscoll/Robin Flanagan). At times, three or four groups were furiously fencing on stage at once.

The even better news is that John Basil's theatre has gone out on a limb with a very ambitious production, and it has delivered: the play was entertaining and fun. Who could ask for anything more? (One feels a song coming on)!

Lack of space prevents a description of the very involved plot or a naming of all the members of a fine ensemble cast of 21 playing 28 different roles. Some actors, though, merit special praise. "She's not a woman," says Athos of Milady, Elizabeth Keefe, "but a demon who has escaped from hell. We'll send her back there." One moment evil, the next charming, and always alluring, Ms. Keefe was splendid. Jon Fordham (Captain of the Cardinal's Guards) was strong and convincing; Richard Fay was a suave, assured and dangerous Cardinal Richelieu; Justin Lewis, an energetic and engaging D'Artagnan; Warren Watson, a splendid Captain of the King's Musketeers; Melissa Hill, a lovely Constance; and Terry Wells, a very amusing King Louis XIII. The three musketeers, Robert Chaney (Aramis), Justin Ray Thompson (Porthos) and J.R. Robinson (Athos) ("all for one and one for all") complete this assembly of good performers. As for the rest of the cast: plaudits.

Congratulations to director Jacqueline Lowry (who also designed the fine lighting). The play, with the action and energy and pace that is characteristic of Globe productions, nevertheless does have a few dramatic scenes. The best of these was between Fordham, Keefe and Hill, prior to a particularly heinous murder. Costumes were lovely (Cathy Maguire). The set was simple yet functional and imaginative (Meganne E. George). Sound and music were appropriate (Christopher North Renquist). Special mention: Vincent A. Masterpaul (Technical Director). (Also featuring Craig Addams, Curtis Harwell, John Holley, Matthew Lai, Julia McLaughlin, Mary Frances Miller, Michael Neeley, James Sandner, and Meilan Smith.)

Box Score:

Writing: 1
Directing: 2
Actin: 2
Set: 2
Costumes: 2
Lighting/Sound: 2

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Copyright 1998 Dudley Stone