We took two out of three Young Peevies to see DePaul's production of The Three Musketeers at the Greenhouse Theater Center tonight. The show started off with a bit of ostensible technical difficulty, but quickly evolved into an action-packed adventure with dramatic fight choreography and some creative use of ladders.
The Alexander Dumas story, cleverly adapted by playwright Ken Ludwig, offered real gunshots, plenty of swordplay, kissing, double-crossing, and hilarity. Twelve-year-old A. Peevie appreciated most of the humor, and really, really appreciated the testicular humor.
Credit set designer Vanessi Fusi for an amazing use of space. The stage at Greenhouse is tiny--not more than about 40'X20', and probably smaller (because I stink at estimating square footage). But they made use of every bit of space, including the aisles and the stairs, and they even involved the audience in a couple of hammy bits. The minimalist set design involved bendable, retractable ladders that also served as seats, weapons, tables, walls, and hiding spots.
There were not more than four or five children in the audience, and one little girl let out a loud, well-timed "Eeeewwwww!" at the moment D'Artagnan first smooched his doomed love, Constance--and the entire theater audience roared. I don't know how the actors stayed in character and continued their scene--but to their credit, they did.
Seeing this play reminded me how much I love going to the theater. Mr. Peevie and I used to go frequently in our child-free youth, but now that we are encumbered/blessed with three kids and their ridiculous schedules, we rarely make theater-going a priority. That must change, I decided. That must seriously change.
During intermission, when I took M. Peevie to the restroom, I overheard an audience member say to her date, "This is better than the Superbowl!"--and I have to agree.
The Three Musketeers is playing through February 21. It's free (but they do recommend that you call to reserve your free tickets), and boy is it fun.