Artistic Director Blake Robison will open his first season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park with the action packed adventure of Ken Ludwig's THE THREE MUSKETEERS. This rousing story of heroism, treachery and honor begins previews in The Playhouse's Robert S. Marx Theatre Sept. 1 and continues through Sept. 29.
Young Frenchman D'Artagnan and his plucky sister Sabine aspire to join the famed Musketeers. But they get more than they bargained for when they stumble into the center of a bitter rivalry between King Louis XIII and the evil Cardinal Richelieu.
"This new adaptation, by the Broadway playwright Ken Ludwig, respects the plot and period of Dumas' original tale," said Playhouse Artistic Director Blake Robison, who will direct this first production of his inaugural season. "But there are some fun updates as well. The language is fresh and vibrant, far from some of the stuffy and wordy versions you may have seen in the past. I think that this production embodies The Playhouse's past and future. It's an epic production of a beloved literary classic – the kind of production that only The Playhouse can do. At the same time, it's an invitation to new audiences. I hope that our patrons will take this opportunity to introduce a new generation of theatregoers to the art form."
Although this is the first time a Ken Ludwig play has been produced at The Playhouse – his work includes the Tony Award-winning Crazy for You and Lend Me A Tenor – Robison directed Ludwig's Treasure Island during his tenure at the Round House Theatre in Maryland.
Ludwig's adaptation captures the iconic flavor of Dumas' characters and the life-and-death stakes for which they fight, but it's also well-seasoned with humor. It was commissioned for the Old Vic in Bristol, England, debuting there in 2006.
Returning actors include Kevin Orton as King Louis XIII (Twelfth Night and Smell of the Kill), Lindsey Kyler as Constance Bonacieux (Tigers Be Still) and Lara Miller as Adele (A Christmas Carol, 2011-20112 Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company). Other cast members include Rin Allen as Sabine, Randy Lee Bailey as Cardinal's Guard/Ensemble, John Feltch as Cardinal Richelieu, Grant Goodman as Aramis, Phillip Ray Guevara as Cardinal's Guard/Ensemble, Casey Scott Lee as Cardinal's Guard/Ensemble, Ginny Myers Lee as Mother/Queen Anne/D'Artagnan's Mother/Mother Superior/Abbess/Ensemble, Reese Madigan as Athos, Heather Petersen as Elise/Ensemble, Datus Puryear as Cardinal's Guard/Ensemble, Shad Ramsey as Rochefort/Ensemble, Matt Sullivan as Father/Treville/Duke of Buckingham/Ensemble, Adam Van Wagoner as D'Artagnan, Nick Vannoy as Porthos and Adria Vitlar as Milady.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS will feature several new designers as well. In addition to returning Fight Director Drew Fracher (most recently, As You Like It), Lighting Designer Thomas C. Hase (most recently, Thunder Knocking on the Door) and Choreographer Victoria Morgan, artistic director and CEO of the Cincinnati Ballet (A Little Night Music), the production team will include the debuts of Set Designer James Kronzer, Costume Designer Bill Black and Sound Designer/Composer Matthew M. Nielson.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS is a thrilling theatrical experience meant to be enjoyed by all generations – the play is recommended for children age 8 and older, and children's tickets will be specially priced at just $25. The Playhouse will also offer Musketeer Training Camps before each of the four Saturday matinee performances, geared to children age 8 and above. For just $10 per child, the camp includes a 30-minute stage fighting workshop, complete with a toy sword to take home, and ends with all participants joining in the swearing of the Musketeer oath. Training camps are scheduled for Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 beginning at 3 p.m. (arrival and registration at 2:45 p.m.) Space is limited. Register in advance by calling The Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888. Training camp tickets do not include the price of a children's ticket to see The Three Musketeers.