Tuesday, July 26, 2011


When an eager and brave young man named D’Artagnan travels to Paris in 1625, he is seeking adventure with a capital A.  His only possession of value is his father’s sword and he yearns to use it for courageous deeds in defense of the Queen.

Within minutes of reaching his destination, however, D’Artagnan (Mark Friedlander) accidentally finds himself challenged to a trio of duels, duels that are not only extremely dangerous but also outlawed.  And the men who challenge him in combat are, ironically, the same men he seeks to meet and join: “ The Three Musketeers.”

Alexandre Dumas’ swashbuckling novel has been adapted for the stage by Linda Alper, Douglas Langworthy and Penny Metropulos in all its majesty and mayhem.  Connecticut Free Shakespeare will be performing these feats of daring drama Wednesday to Sunday, July 27-31 outdoors at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport at 8 p.m. and then on the Guilford Green in Guilford, sponsored by the Shoreline Arts Alliance, Wednesday to Sunday, August 3-7.

Needing to prove himself worthy, D’Artagnan implores Porthos (Ian Eaton), Aramis (Joseph Robinson) and Athos (Justus White) and the Musketeers’ Captain (Jamil A. C. Mangan) to let him join their elite ranks.  They soon find themselves fighting the Cardinal (Craig Anthony Bannister) and his guards, led by the conniving Rochefort (Jake Paque).

The intrigue continues as it swirls around the fate of noble ladies, Queen Anne (Catherine White) and her seamstress Constance (Megan Emery Gaffney) and D’Artagnan’s loyal servant Planchet (also Catherine White) as well as the infamous femme fatale Milady (Saluda Camp) who can not be trusted as far as a dropped hankerchief takes to reach the earth.  Into the fray are the two men of the hour, King Louis (Steve Mazzoccone) and the Duke of Buckingham (Andrew Spieker) who both seek to win Queen Anne’s favor and are willing to fight a war to prove themselves worthy.

Ellen Lieberman directs the non-stop action under the stars with verve.  Performances are free but donations are welcome.  Bring blankets and lawn chairs and snacks to share.  Shows are cancelled in inclement weather.  For more information, call 203-393-3213 or go online to www.CTFreeShakespeare.org.

It’s “all for one, one for all” in this action-packed tale that glimmers like a necklace of diamonds displayed on a sword of steel. An extra bonus at the zoo are the peacocks who proudly parade pompously across the play’s platform.

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