“The Three Musketeers,” an extravagant action adventure for all ages.

“The Three Musketeers,” an extravagant action adventure for all ages.

Photo Courtesy of ARC Theatre

American River College Spring performance makes a lasting impression

The action, drama, comedy, and tragedy; everything about ARC’s production of “The Three Musketeers” electrified the soul. Pamela Downs has directed a truly excellent experience that went beyond simple storytelling.

Charles Morey’s version of this show built a phenomenal narrative device that made this version of the show unique, even after it’s been adapted hundreds of times. He included Alexandre Dumas, the author of the original work “The Three Musketeers,” as a character.

Every once in a while, Dumas, who was portrayed by ARC theatre veteran Brandon Lancaster would freeze all of the characters onstage and adjust their positioning, or shoot a couple of the enemies to even the odds. The play used this to address any plot “cop-outs.” At one point in the story, Lancaster stumbled into a scene as a prodigy diamond cutter and let the plot conveniently drift along in the heroes’ favor.

The most impressive aspect of “The Three Musketeers” was the set design. Three turntables worked in unison to create a different set combination for each scene. There were at least a dozen different set combinations made by rotating the center turntable to a different angle. Whether the play called for an Inn, a castle, or the Queen’s dressing room, the set had a combination for it.

The set also had a section for visual projection. The title card above the stage used the ARC theater’s projector to tell the audience where any particular scene was taking place.

Of all the actors, Jake Tucker’s portrayal of Bonaciex was the most memorable. The energy he brought to that supporting role was unlike anything else in the show. The most impressive feat was when Bonaciex was “tied” to a stick and being carried across the stage; looking closely you saw that he was not tied at all, but holding onto the stick. It would have taken too long to untie Tucker in time for the next scene he was in.

The work James McMillon put in as stage manager really made the show work. The play was extremely complex with the set and lighting combinations, queues for which characters needed to be where, and various other complicated tasks stage managers have to accomplish. The show was fantastic and went off without any major tech or actor hiccups. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, definitely make an effort to attend the next show at ARC.