New York Cool

The Three Musketeers: A Musical Adventure
April 15—May 14, 2005
Wings Theatre

Reviewed on April 18, 2005 by Ronit Feldman

Tucked away on Christopher Street, a small basement theatre breathes life into a stretch of Greenwich Village known more for its drinking holes than its drama. It’s here that the Wings Theatre stakes its claim. While the entrance lacks street signage, a recent Monday night production drew a crowd that packed nearly every seat. The show, The Three Musketeers, is part of a series of new musicals that bills itself as “fare you won’t find on the boob tube.” That’s partly true.

Based on the 19th century novel by Alexandre Dumas, this two-act production features a lush musical score and epic storyline absent from any modern sitcom. But the themes—betrayal, honor, adultery, deception and love—will strike a familiar chord with anyone fond of pop culture, from The Bachelor to Desperate Housewives. The story follows the adventures of the young Frenchmen D’Artagnan (Ryan Boda) as he attempts to prove himself to the king’s three best musketeers: Athos (Stephen Cabral), Porthos (David Weitzer) and Aramis (David Velarde). The classic good guy/bad guy plot thickens when Cardinal Richelieu (David Macaluso) and the evil Milady de Winter (Pamela Brumley) conspire to discredit the queen, Anne of Austria (Kim Reed), in the eyes of King Louis XIII (Josh Grisetti). Musketeers to the rescue!

Director Jeffery Corrick keeps the first act lively, employing a varied cast of characters who engage in song, dialogue and swordplay. Act two takes a darker turn as a murderous plot comes to a head and some sinister secrets are divulged. The music by Paul L. Johnson and book and lyrics by Clint Jefferies pay homage to old-fashioned storytelling, and a few standout performers allow the material to really shine. Josh Grisetti is a hoot as the pretentious King Louis XIII, with petty affectation pouring from every effeminate finger. Pamela Brumley’s rich soprano oozes haughtiness and seduction, perfect for the evil Milady, while Kim Reed infuses the powerful Queen Anne with a poignant vulnerability.

Packed with complex music and a multitude characters, it’s an adventurous undertaking for the small Wings Theatre, but they do it with bravado…just like the musketeers would want it.

Book & Lyrics by Clint Jefferies; Music by Paul L. Johnson
Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas

Tickets are $19 (212-627-2961)

The Wings Theatre | 154 Christopher Street

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