This production is a fun, energetic and buckle-swashing good time. It seemed pretty clear by the promotional photo (see above) that they were planning to take a lighter note with this production and I was really looking forward to it. I love the gravitas of Synetic Theatre’s more serious works but I looked forward to seeing them do a straight adventure and they mostly delivered. I will admit that I did experience a moment of pique when I realized that this was going to be one of their speaking productions, I much prefer their wordless productions but I will say that they managed to pull it off and as I saw the first pre-view performance I assume it will only get better with the repetition.
The first, second and third best parts of the performance are the actors playing Athos, Mr. Ben Cunis, Porthos, Mr. Hector Reynoso and Aramis, Mathew Ward; their performance perfectly captures the chemistry of lifelong friends and battle hardened warriors who enjoy life to the fullest knowing it may end quite summarily. I really wasn’t expecting much of the spoken portions of the production but this trio’s performance, lead by Mr. Cunis’s bedeviled Athos, felt genuine, moving and anchored the show for the rest of the performers. My favorite moment has to be the pas de deux with Mr. Cunis and Irina Tsikurishvilil (who really I can’t see enough of on stage); there was a palpable shift in energy on the stage, it’s that undefinable but utterly recognizable moment when you know what you’re seeing is exceptional. Hands down the best scene in the show. Bravo!
For me the only off note of the production is our erstwhile D’Artagion, juxtaposed against the depth and strength of the Trio above the performance did not have the same feeling of authenticity. The remaining cast varied in performance with differing levels of facility with the spoken portions of the production. And a special nod to Robert Smith as Louis XIII, who provided a great comic performance as the buffoonish Louis XIII.
As always, Synetics productions soar during their balletic scene interpretations, and don’t imagine tutu’s when I say balletic, imagine athletic, acrobatic, energy driven, kinetic performance. I will admit I did gasp once or twice and how no one ended up impaled on a sword is a testament to the control they exert in providing us what appears to be a genuine frenzy of combat. Watching them is almost like a cardio work out by proxy.
It’s a show worth seeing and one I would rank as a family friendly production. It plays through June 9.