The Three Musketeers (musical)


The Three Musketeers (musical)

"The Three Musketeers" is a musical with a book by William Anthony McGuire, lyrics by Clifford Grey and P. G. Wodehouse, and music by Rudolf Friml. It is based on the classic 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas, père.

Set in France and England in 1626, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a Musketeer of the Guard. The three men of the title are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

Production history

The original Broadway production was produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, directed by librettist McGuire, and choreographed by Albertina Rasch. It opened on March 13, 1928 at the Lyric Theatre and ran for 318 performances. The cast included Dennis King as d'Artagnan, Douglass R. Dumbrille as Athos, Detmar Poppen as Porthos, Joseph Macaulay as Aramis, Clarence Derwent as Louis XIII of France, and Reginald Owen as Cardinal Richelieu.

King reprised his role for a 1930 West End production that ran for 242 performances [http://www.thelooniverse.com/books/plum/plumplays.html] .

A 1984 revival with a new book by Mark Bramble was directed by Joe Layton and choreographed by Lester Wilson. After 15 previews, it opened on November 11 at The Broadway Theatre and closed after 9 performances. The cast included Michael Praed as d'Artagnan, Chuck Wagner as Athos, Ron Taylor as Porthos, Brent Spiner as Aramis, Roy Brocksmith as Louis XIII, Liz Callaway as Lady Constance Bonacieux, Marianne Tatum as Milday de Winter, Ed Dixon as Cardinal Richelieu, and Mark McGrath as one of the Cardinal's guards.

In his review in the "New York Times", Frank Rich observed, "The Three Musketeers" is a good-natured attempt to jazz up Rudolf Friml's Dumas-inspired operetta, a Florenz Ziegfeld extravaganza of 1928, much as the New York Shakespeare Festival retooled "The Pirates of Penzance" a few seasons ago. But this time the source material is many rungs below Gilbert and Sullivan - and the new accouterments add no wit, style, sexiness or show-biz dazzle . . . The man behind this enterprise is Mark Bramble . . . [whose] idea of writing a musical book, as he has previously demonstrated in his collaborations on "Barnum" and "42nd Street", is to minimize the book. The baroque plot of "The Three Musketeers" is so frenetically and confusingly conveyed that no child is likely to understand who the Duke of Buckingham is, or why Cardinal Richelieu is such a pill, or why everyone is chasing after a diamond brooch throughout Act II . . . The title characters have little dialogue and often seem like interchangeable stand-ins for the Three Stooges . . . Joe Layton has tried to give the show the illusion of excitement by staging it at a frantic pace and by sending the actors running up and down the aisles . . . [but] everyone seems to be scurrying pointlessly about just to keep busy. After a while, the company begins to look like a road troupe of "Camelot" on amphetamines."

Tatum was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.

Plot synopsis

After Cardinal Richelieu learns the Queen has a diamond heart, which was a present from the King to her, as a token of love to the Duke of Buckingham, a suggests the King should ask the Queen to wear it at a royal gala. Richelieu dispatches the Comte de Rochefort and Lady de Winter to London to recover the gem, which he plans to unveil at the gala in order to reveal the Queen has been unfaithful. Meanwhile, the Queen asks her lady-in-waiting Constance to involve the Musketeers in the jewel's recovery, but trouble ensues when d’Artagnan steals it. After a rousing sword fight, the Musketeers reclaim it and bring it to the gala, where King Louis fastens it to the Queen's shoulder just as he did when he first gave it to her.

1928 song list

;Act I
*Summer Time
*All for One
*The 'He' for Me
*My Sword
*Heart of Mine
*My Sword and I
*Vesper Bell
*Dreams
*Te Deum
*March of the Musketeers
*Colonel and Major
*Love is the Sun
*Heart of Mine
*Welcome to the Queen;Act II
*With Red Wine
*My Belle
*Kiss Before I Go
*Pages
*Queen of My Heart
*Gossip
*Until We Say Goodbye

1984 song list

;Act I
*Prologue
*Gascony Bred
*All for One
*Only a Rose
*My Sword and I
*Carnival of Fools
*L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour
*Come to Us
*March of the Musketeers
*Bless My Soul
*Only a Rose (Reprise)
*Act One Finale;Act II
*Vive La France
*The Actor's Life
*My Belle
*The Chase
*My Belle (Reprise)
*Dreams
*L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour (Reprise)
*All For One (Reprise)
*Gossip
*Finale

External links

* [http://www.ibdb.com/show.asp?ID=8677 Internet Broadway Database entry]
* [http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?res=9405E3D71139F931A25752C1A962948260 New York Times review]


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