Sunday, October 05, 2008

How's about a review?

So it's not really fair to review a show in preview, but since a) I'm not a paid reviewer, and b) I'm not going to see the thing during the regular run, I'm going to go ahead with it anyway.

Took the fam to see the Three Musketeers at the Rep today, and it was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. Let's dissect it, shall we?

Script: The script was an odd mix of classical-ish prose and modern prose. At one point early on the titular Three are raiding the Cardinal's castle and Aramis (or maybe Athos...I get those two confused) says "Oh, crap." Gets a laugh, but I must say I don't recall that from the book.

Acting: The acting in the show was...ok. Not spellbinding, not perfect, but OK. And some of that may have come from the direction and script - they make a lot of asides and obvious laugh lines, so the acting issues might have had more to do with the way the play was staged than anything else. But I don't think anyone's taking home a Tony for their performance.

Set: The Rep usually has great sets, and these were no different. Great use of moving pieces to transform the space in to the various different scenes. The only distraction was a few flown-in hangings that got stuck on other pieces on their way down. Given that this is a preview, I'm sure they'll have that ironed out by the time it opens on Friday.

Drama-nerd fun: There were only two blatantly obvious flaws in the show today. First, in a scene between the King and the Cardinal, someone went up on lines. Not sure which one it was, but they repeated an exchange, then kind of struggled to figure out how to get back on track, then finally recovered. And later, when Constance is in hiding in the convent and Milady comes to visit, someone missed an entrance 'cause I can't believe they'd leave a Nun on stage praying for a full 45 seconds...

Fighting: the fight scenes were pretty good. I think the final fight is the best, although the big group fight between the Musketeers and the Cardinal's soldiers was also very well staged. They're not totally polished yet, but should be by the end of the run.

In summary: It's an entertaining show, and definitely worth seeing if you've got kids (ok, boys...) who like to watch people swinging swords around. It's not ground-breaking, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

1 comment:

Diane said...

As a member of the theatre community, I am very offended by this review. As you say in your first paragraph, "it's not really fair to review a show in preview". You are right, it is not. Would you review a painting when it was only partially done? It is great that you want to write about the art you see but why not wait until the art is finished to do so. And if you can't come to a performance after the show is open, then don't review it.