By Sasha Wilson and Michele Peters
Hot on the heels of the wildly popular “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” Southwest Shakespeare Company (SSC) in Mesa continues its 24th season with the swashbuckling adventure, “The Three Musketeers.”
Adapted by Ken Ludwig from the Dumas classic, this visually delightful production is brought to the stage by Jesse James Kamps, artistic director of the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival.
“When I told SSC that I wanted to do this play,” Kamps said, “people were quite surprised. I just finished directing ‘Macbeth’ in Flagstaff and this show is artistically very different; breezy, irreverent and downright ridiculous at times, but it has tremendous heart. Though the script may stray from the source material, it never abandons the spirit of Dumas’ novel. It is about honor, loyalty and realizing one’s potential.”
This adaptation is an inspiring tale of fate, hope and adventure that takes many twists and turns but always leads back to love, friendship and the pursuit of the truth…the ultimate fight between good and evil.
The story is about D’Artagnan, a young man from Gascony, who dreams of following in his father’s footsteps and joining the famous French musketeers. In his quest, he meets the legendary Three Musketeers – Athos, Porthos and Aramis who have sworn to protect King Louis XIII and Queen Anne against the treachery, deception and maneuvering that is bubbling under the guise and grandeur of the royal court. D’Artagnan crosses wits, hearts and swords with the scheming Cardinal Richelieu, the dark Rochefort, and the mysterious Milady DeWinter, all against a backdrop of visually spectacular sets.
“Sometimes,” Kamps continued, “after the serious plays and all of the serious issues we face in today’s world, it is fun to get away for an evening and just laugh, relax and enjoy a great story.”
“The Three Musketeers” opens today, Oct. 13, and goes through Oct. 28 in the Mesa Arts Center, Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse. Tickets are available for matinees/evening performances at the Mesa Arts Center, 480-644-6500, or Southwest Shakespeare Company at swshakespeare.org or call 480-435-6868.
– Sasha Wilson and Michele Peters are with the Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa.