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South Valley Journal

‘The Three Musketeers’ is one play for all

Nov 01, 2021 03:15PM ● By Jet Burnham

The lead actors of Mountain Ridge High School’s production of “The Three Musketeers” are Sterling Lund, Jill Thomas, Liam Owens, Cole Barton and David Oliphant. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Mountain Ridge High School presents Ken Ludwig’s “The Three Musketeers” Nov. 18, 19, 20, 22, 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 adults, $7 students/seniors.

This adaption of “The Three Musketeers,” based on the novel written by Alexandre Dumas in 1844, centers on the wannabe hero D’Artagnan (played by David Oliphant) who is determined to become a musketeer like his father. With enthusiasm and youthful confidence, he sets out for France where he meets three seasoned musketeers—Athos, Porthos and Aramis (played by Liam Owens, Cole Barton and Sterling Lund)—and immediately becomes entangled in multiple conflicts, both personal and political.

Oliphant said the production has something for everyone—comedy, drama, action and romance.

“There's not a lot of places doing ‘Three Musketeers’ all the time, even though it's a pretty well known story, so it's a lot of fun seeing the characters on stage,” he said. “Every character is highly entertaining, we've got great actors—it's definitely a must-see!”

Multiple storylines and conflicts weave together, with both comedy and drama, for an entertaining and inspiring story, Lund said.

“D’Artagnan is coming from nowhere and he's getting somewhere,” Lund said. “Even in the face of adversity, he keeps working towards that final goal, and because of that constant persistence, even though he didn't come from somewhere with a bunch of status and privilege, he’s able to get to where he wants to be.”

The play consolidates an entire novel into a running time of just under two hours which cuts a lot of the characters’ backstories, said Owens. But the parts of the story that made the cut are action-packed.

“‘Three Musketeers’ has the visual aspect—you can see what's going on,” Owens said. “And the way we've choreographed things, you can see the power levels each of the characters have.”

All 17 cast members are involved in some kind of physical comedy, stage combat or swordplay (choreographed by Anton Moss.) Each of the three musketeers has their own fighting style that shows their personality.

“Aramis is the respectful gentleman,” Barton said. “Athos is definitely the more confident, better fighter—all of his moves have precise movements. And Porthos is more comical, taunting, with lots of fancy jabs and swings that distract people to get an upper hand.”

This story adaptation includes a new main character—D'Artagnan's sister Sabine (played by Jill Thomas), who accompanies her brother to France, hoping for more adventure and romance in her life.

“She's really energetic and curious and ready to take on life,” Thomas said. She said the interactions with the musketeers onstage is a lot like messing around with her own three brothers—the teasing and playful shoving comes naturally. 

The production is directed by theater teacher Bradley Moss, who said the cast and crew have exemplified the musketeer motto of “One for all, and all for one!” as they’ve prepared for this performance.

“We start off working in smaller groups,” he said. “But as we start to pull it all together, everyone is working all together. We see the work that other people are doing and we get to build off of it. That's where it comes together as a cohesive whole.”