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September 2012 Archives

September 28, 2012

Three Musketeers at Cincinnati Playhouse is a Triumph

m1_06small.jpgLast weekend, at the invitation of my friend Blake Robison, I traveled to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park to see their production of my adaptation of The Three Musketeers. This was the first show of Blake’s tenure as the theatre’s new Artistic Director, and I have to say it was a triumph. Everything about the production was spectacular - from the direction, to the cast, to the design, to the fights. The costume shop, set shop and the stage management deserve an extra round of applause. The show was flawless.
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The cast was uniformly terrific. It was especially wonderful to see John Felch again. He was playing Cardinal Richelieu, and I first got to know him when he played Captain Flint in my adaptation of Treasure Island at the Alley Theatre in Houston. He's the pro of all pros: always deft, always stylish, always convincing, and simply hilarious.
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Jim Kronzer’s set was amazing, as were the costumes by Bill Black. Thomas C. Hase designed the lights, which were gorgeous. And the fights, choreographed by Drew Fracher, were as good as I've ever seen. The pictures in this blog tell the whole story.
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The theatre complex is impressive all by itself. They have two beautiful theatres that reminded me of the related spaces at the National Theatre of Great Britain. The larger of the two (the Robert S. Marx Theatre), where The Three Musketeers is playing, is designed along the lines of the Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece - a round, thrust stage with seats fanning out on three sides. The stage also has a handy trap that was used to full effect during the show.

m1_02small.jpgI thought it was great that the management allowed people to bring drinks into the theatre during the show. I'm a strong believer in making theatre fun and accessible. Why should a live theatre be any less welcoming than a movie theatre? Clearly, Cincinnati under Blake is making every effort to welcome old and new audiences into their theatre. I even got to talk to audience members as a group before the production.

The entire trip was terrific, and I was very grateful for the invitation. It was a treat to meet Michael Evan Haney, the Associate Artistic Director, who couldn't have been more gracious, and all of the lovely staff. Congrats to Blake and his entire team.
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All photos by Sandy Underwood
The design team is as follows:
Director Blake Robison
Fight Director Drew Fracher
Set Designer James Kronzer
Costume Designer Bill Black
Lighting Designer Thomas C. Hase
Sound Designer/Composer Matthew M. Nielson
Choreographer Victoria Morgan