Margaret Raether’s comedy adaptation of Three Musketeers

Margaret Raether’s comedy adaptation of Three Musketeers

By Edith McCauley, Theater Critic

Margaret and Richard Raether’s talents combine in NAT’s current production of The Three Musketeers. In choosing the piece for this year’s season, Richard had to be influenced by the many scenes of swashbuckling swordsmanship. His expertise in fight choreography is exhibited throughout the play. The set, composed of columns, a soaring staircase, and a balcony, is perfect for a multi-level encounter between the Musketeers and the Cardinal’s Guards.

Aramis (Keith Conway), Porthos (Kevin McKillip), and Athos (John MacFarland) are joined by D’Artagnan (Drew Vidal). Intent on becoming a Musketeer for the King, he becomes enmeshed in the intricate plots of the court and devious Cardinal Richelieu (David Stocker). Ricki Ravits returns to NAT as Lady de Winter. A class act—her years of experience and an unrivaled stage presence are apparent from her opening scene, one moment a scheming seductress, the next a tender lover.

Set in 1624 during the reign of Louis XIII, the plot centers on the political in-fighting of the court in Paris, the affair of Queen Anne (Charla Mason) and Lord Buckingham (Michael Huftile), and the heroic efforts to return the missing diamond necklace. We are reminded of those wonderful movies starring Errol Flynn where many a fair lady has been saved by deft swordsmanship.

Margaret Raether’s flair for comedy is evident in every scene. A constant barrage of one-liners keeps the audience laughing. She said after the show, her son became her test market for humor. If he thought it funny, it was in.

W. Allan Williams designed the costumes. Drawing from several area theaters, he replicated the elegance of the 17th century. The epitome of his work is the outrageous attire of the King. In costume for the masked ball, Louis enters in a towering Sun King headdress. Not often does a costume receive applause.

David Gingerich is Louis, and a more campy King could not be found. Mark Harlik played Edward de Vere in The Beard of Avon with the same preposterous portrayal. Gingerich is the perfect foil for Margaret’s humor. For tickets, go online:

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