The Three Musketeers

May 31-July 21, 2013
Thu & Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 4pm & 8pm, Sun at 4pm

“A terrific showcase for the ebullient fight choreography of Matt Hawkins, who seizes this particular opportunity like a modern-day D’Artagnan”  –Chicago Tribune

“Vintage Lifeline, wringing stage clarity out of textual complexity… And Matt Hawkins’s fight choreography is absolutely phenomenal, almost terrifyingly so”  –Huffington Post

“[A] potent mix of buddy comedy, war story, romance, and morality tale that has made the work a classic.”  –Stage and Cinema

Pursuing his dream of becoming a Musketeer, young d’Artagnan travels to Paris, where he befriends the legendary Three Inseparables: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. His acts of bravery catch the eye of King Louis XIII, but ensnare d’Artagnan in the deadly schemes of Cardinal Richelieu and the depraved Milady Clarik. When the love of his life, is kidnapped on the eve of war, d’Artagnan must weigh his loyalties and question the meaning of honor in an age of moral ambiguity. Journey from Paris to London, from countryside taverns to glittering palaces, from a humble Gascon farm to the siege of La Rochelle, in an epic tale of passion, intrigue, and adventure.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.Based on the classic adventure by Alexandre Dumas
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Directed by Amanda Delheimer Dimond

Highlights from The Three Musketeers 

  • Adrian Byrd (Treville)

    Adrian is abundantly thrilled to be in this production of The Three Musketeers at Lifeline Theatre, with an extremely talented cast. Other credits include: Bulrusher (Congo Square); Tommy Parker’s Celebrated Minstrel Show and Pill Hill (Chicago Theater Company); Of One Blood(Lookingglass Theater); Faultless (New Leaf Theater); A Raisin In The SunThe Men Shall Also GatherSoldier’s Story, and Open Admissions(Fleetwood Jourdain Theater); Bang The Drum Slowly (Next Theatre, understudy); and Unjustifiable Acts (Goodman Theatre, understudy).

  • Carlos Rogelio Diaz (Boncieux, Laporte, Ensemble)

    Chicago born and bred, Carlos has most recently appeared in How Long Will I Cry? (Steppenwolf for Young Adults); After (Profiles Theater); The Giver (Adventure Stage Chicago); At Ease (The Fine Print Theater); and Axe Lizzie (Cock & Bull Theatre); among others. Favorites have included working with Aguijon Theater performing exclusively in Spanish and Imagination Theater, designed for younger audiences, working across the country trying to make the world a better place. Carlos is a graduate of The University of Illinois at Chicago, a Resident Artist with Cock & Bull Theatre, a member of SAG-AFTRA and represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

  • Chris Hainsworth (Athos)

    Chris has been a proud member of the Lifeline ensemble since 2010. Roles at Lifeline include Oliver in Talking It Over, Israel Hands in Treasure Island, The Marquis De Carabas in Neverwhere, Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo, and Dhatt in The City & The City. He also adapted Elise Blackwell’s novel Hunger for Lifeline and will be adapting Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment next season. Other roles around town include Frank in Faith Healer (Uma Productions), Mott in The Artist Needs A Wife (the side project), Robbie in Scenes from the Big Picture (Seanachaí Theatre), and Sheriff Raven in The Dreams in the Witch House (WildClaw Theatre). Chris is also Ensemble Emeritus at Strawdog Theatre where he appeared as Brutus in Julius Caesar, Bassanio in Merchant of Venice, Jonsey Whitman in Impossible Marriage, Pony William in Knives in Hens, Detective Dakis in Detective Story, and Ruddy in Marathon ’33.

  • Mildred Marie Langford (Queen Anne, Madame Coquenard, Ensemble)

    Mildred is excited to return to Lifeline where she was last seen as Saralinda in The 13 Clocks. Chicago credits include FAILURE: A Love Story(Victory Gardens Theatre); Freshly Fallen Snow (Chicago Dramatists); My Kind of Town and In Darfur (TimeLine Theatre, where she also serves as a company member); An Actor Prepares (U of C Logan Center for the Arts); VenusThe Twins Would Like To Say, and The Crucible (Steppenwolf Theatre); Sinbad: The Untold TaleThe Ghost of Treasure Island, and The Blue House(Adventure Stage); A Civil War Christmas (Northlight Theatre); War with the Newts and The Overwhelming (Next Theatre); and 12 Ophelias (Trap Door Theatre). Regional: A Raisin in the Sun (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre). Mildred is a graduate of George Mason University and The School at Steppenwolf.

  • Dan Lin (Felton, Ensemble)

    Dan is excited to make his Lifeline Theatre debut. Previous credits include Julius Caesar (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) and a staged reading of Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare Proj. of Chicago). Film credits include The Last Supper (China Film Group) and Persephone (Reel Stuff Productions). He also co-hosts Happy Hour with Caleb and Dan, a radio show and podcast. Dan holds a BFA from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy.

  • Katie McLean Hainsworth (Milady)

    Katie has been a member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble since 2006, and she has appeared in many productions, including HungerNeverwhereMariette in EcstasyTalking It OverCrossing CaliforniaThe True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!Gaudy NightTrust Me On ThisFar From the Madding CrowdBongo Larry & Two Bad BearsWhose Body?, and Cooking with Lard. Her adaptation of The Mark of Zorro won a Non-Equity Jeff Award in 2009, and she is proud to have directed Watership Down (2011), Johnny Tremain (2006), and The Cricket in Times Square (2005) for the Lifeline stage. Katie has performed in Chicago with Black Sheep Productions, Blindfaith, the Hypocrites, Greasy Joan, and Bailiwick Repertory, among others, since arriving in Chicago in 1993.

  • Deanna Myers (Constance, Ensemble)

    Deanna is excited to return for another adventure after working with Lifeline on The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost this past winter. She’s also been seen on stage with Steppenwolf, Pavement Group, Second City, and The Inconvenience, and was featured in an episode of Chicago Fire this season. Deanna is also a proud member of Barrel of Monkeys and Catharsis Productions, and is represented by the illustrious Marisa Paonessa.

  • Miguel Nunez (King Louis XIII, Buckingham)

    Miguel is delighted to be back at Lifeline, where he performed in The Blue Shadow. Chicago credits include Augusta and Noble (Adventure Stage Chicago); I Put the Fear of Mexico In ’em (Teatro Vista); Oedipus El Rey(u/s Victory Gardens); After (u/s Profiles Theatre); The Jammer (Pine Box Theatre); The Ghost is Here (Vitalist Theatre); Seven Snakes (The Mammals); Lorca In a Green DressHeads (Halcyon Theatre); and work with The Gift Theatre, Redmoon, Teatro Luna, Salsation!, Chicago Fusion Theatre, and Bailiwick Chicago. He can also be seen in the web-series Porkin’ Across America by The Onion. Miguel majored in acting at the National Theater University (IUDET) in Caracas, and his work in Venezuela includes The Bourgeois GentlemanBufonerias (Teatro Septimo Piso), and Apocalipse 1,11 with Brazilian company Teatro da Vertigem (2001 Caracas International Theater Festival). He is represented by Paonessa Talent.

  • Mike Ooi (Rochefort, Lord de Winter)

    Mike is pleased to return to Lifeline after recently appearing in their KidSeries production of The Emperor’s New Threads. Other Lifeline productions include NeverwhereThe Mark of ZorroThe Mystery of the Pirate GhostDuck For PresidentNaked Mole Rat Gets DressedThe 13 Clocks, and The Last of the Dragons. Other Chicago credits include RenFaire! A Fistful of DucatsBlack & Blue1985, and Mop Top Festival(Factory Theater); Sinbad: The Untold Tale and Ghosts of Treasure Island (Adventure Stage); Star WitnessCurse of the Crying Heart, and Cave with Man (House Theatre of Chicago); Three Penny Opera (The Hypocrites at Steppenwolf Garage); and Old Town (Strawdog Theatre). Mike is the Operations Manager for the Factory Theater, where he is also a company member.

  • Sean Sinitski (Cardinal Richelieu)

    Sean was member of the late Defiant Theatre, where he performed such roles as Hamlet, Macduff, and a guy that got his thumb stolen in Action Movie: the Play! Other Chicago credits: Lifeline (The MoonstoneNeverwhereTreasure IslandThe Picture of Dorian Gray); Stage Left (RabbitFellow Travelers); Chicago Shakespeare (Timon of AthensThe Madness of King George); Strawdog (The Merchant of VeniceDetective StoryThe Cherry Orchard); Next Theater (Accidental Death of an AnarchistThe Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer); Hypocrites (Henry VBalm in Gilead); Silk Road (Back of the ThroatCaravaggio); Writers Theater (The Doctor’s Dilemma); Lakeside Shakespeare (King Lear).

  • Dwight Sora (Aramis)

    Dwight is thrilled to join Lifeline for the first time. Credits include Raven (Twelve Angry Men), Adventure Stage Chicago (A Thousand Cranes), Halcyon (Family Devotions), and Vitalist (The Ghost is Here). He has worked with Silk Road Rising as an understudy (Durango), on various readings, and projects for the Chicago Humanities Festival, One Book One Chicago and the Mayor’s Annual Prayer Breakfast. A third-degree black belt in the martial art of Aikido, Dwight has served as fight choreographer for Porchlight (Pacific Overtures), an onstage combatant at Lyric Opera (Romeo et Juliet), and manages the Chicago Aikido Club. He is also a past ensemble member of Imagination Theater and Erasing the Distance. Film work includes Red Dawn and Real Steel.

  • Glenn Stanton (D'Artagnan)

    Glenn is happy to make his Lifeline debut. He is a Chicago actor and fight director. Glenn was most recently seen in the Goodman Theater’s production of Measure for Measure after returning from a season with the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Other Chicago credits include: SS Macbeth! and Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Once on This Island (Porchlight), Cyrano (House Theater), Motion (Signal Ensemble), The Apple Tree (Illinois Theater Center), Ghosts of Treasure Island (Adventure Stage Chicago), and Christmas Carol(Metropolis), among others. His TV credits include: Isaiah Hunter (lead role) in the pilot A King’s Way, and the role of Jeami on Desperate Measures (Investigate Discovery). He also appeared in the feature film Altered. You can catch Glenn later this year in Invasion and Paulus, both at Silk Road Rising.

  • Kyle Vincent Terry (Murderer, Ensemble)

    Kyle is proudly making his Lifeline debut. A native Chicagoan, Kyle attended UIC. Credits include work with Livewire Theatre Company, Fight Night with Nothing Special Productions, fashion Designer Nick Cave, Shakespeare & Co.,Catharsis Productions, Instruments of Movement, Hedwig Dances and various others. Creative credits include Lookingglass Theatre Ensemble, IO, Navy Pier, Collaboraction, Chicago Tap Theatre, Joel Hall and various other organizations around the country. He also created and performed for TheMASSIVE and Chicago Dance Crash, serving as Artistic Director for both companies. Kyle is humbled to take his talents to Providence, RI as part of Brown University’s Class of 2016 this Fall.

  • Christopher M. Walsh (Porthos)

    Christopher has been a proud member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble since 2010. So far he has appeared in seven shows on the Lifeline stage, including The Woman in WhiteHungerWatership Down, and Neverwhere(Chicago Now 2010 Honor Award – Best Supporting Actor). Other area acting credits include work with Strawdog Theatre, Signal Theatre Ensemble, A Red Orchid Theatre, Black Sheep Productions, Backstage Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Right Brain Project, City Lit, the Building Stage, Circle Theatre, and Defiant Theatre. During the day he performs Shakespeare at area high schools with A Crew of Patches, and continues to study acting at Black Box Acting Studio.

  • Bryan Bosque (Understudy)

    Bryan is thrilled to work with Lifeline for the first time. He most recently voiced the character of Hamlet in Strawdog’s Hugen Hall presentation of the graphic novel Kill Shakespeare. Bryan’s previous productions in and around Chicago include Stadium Devildare and The Skriker (Red Tape Theatre), Year Zero (understudy with Victory Gardens), Rabbit Hole(Buffalo Theatre Ensemble), and The Taming of the Shrew (First Folio Shakespeare Festival). And throughout this past school year, Bryan has helped bring young students’ stories to life as part of Barrel of Monkeys’ acting ensemble.

  • Lindsey Dorcus (Understudy)

    Lindsey is delighted to make her Lifeline Theatre debut. Recent credits include That’s Weird, Grandma! (Barrel of Monkeys); Then, One Night(Hearts & Brains Theatre); Duchess of Malfi and Good Soul of Szechuan(Strawdog Theatre); From the Circle and Orpheus (Filament Theatre); and The Ring Cycle (The Building Stage). She has also performed locally with the House Theatre, Redmoon, Next Theatre, Links Hall, ATC, Adventure Stage, Manuel Cinema, and the Mammals. Lindsey is a proud company member with Barrel of Monkeys and Filament Theatre.

  • Nathan Pease (Understudy)

    Nathan is excited to work with Lifeline Theatre for the first time. Nathan most recently appeared onstage in Idle Muse Theatre Company’s Lonesome Hollow. As proud ensemble member of Idle Muse, Nathan has also appeared in The Lion in Winter and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. Other Chicago credits include Hubris Productions (All Childish Things), Filament Theatre Ensemble (Eurydice), and Commedia Beauregard (Corleone). Elsewhere, Nathan has appeared with Oak Park Festival Theatre (Betrayal), First Folio Theatre (Comedy of Errors), Michigan Shakespeare Festival (Much Ado About Nothingand Merry Wives of Windsor) and BoardsHead Theatre (Comedy of Errors).

  • Jason Peregoy (Understudy)

    Jason is so excited to be working with Lifeline for the first time! Some of his notable credits include performing as Valvert in House Theatre’s production of Cyrano, as Dr. Hardon in Factory Theatre’s Toast of the Town, and he also understudied for Cripple of Inishmaan at Redtwist Theatre. He has also worked on Emerald City’s touring production of Alice in Wonderland and is a company member with Explore Theatre.

  • Robert Kauzlaric (Adaptor)

    Robert is a proud member of Lifeline’s artistic ensemble. He has written over a dozen theatrical adaptations which have been produced all across the U.S., as well as in England, Ireland, and Canada. For Lifeline, he adapted the MainStage productions of The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Awards: Best Production-Play and New Adaptation), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: New Adaptation), Neverwhere (Non-Equity Jeff Award: New Adaptation), The Moonstone, and The Woman in White; and the KidSeries productions of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (currently on national tour with Dallas Children’s Theatre), Flight of the DodoThe 13 Clocks, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Robert has also appeared as an actor in fifteen productions on the Lifeline stage, and directed Treasure Island and Hunger.

  • Amanda Delheimer Dimond (Director)

    Amanda is thrilled to return to Lifeline, having directed The 13 Clocks in the fall of 2011. Other Chicago credits include The Ghosts of Treasure IslandThe Cay, and Ash Girl, all with Adventure Stage Chicago. She has also had the pleasure of working with the Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Red Moon, and Strawdog, among others. She is the Artistic Director of 2nd Story, which she encourages you to check out, and is currently working with Rachel Kraft at Lookingglass Theatre as a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Theatre Communications Group.

  • Katie Messmore (Stage Manager)

    Katie is thrilled to be working on this exciting production of The Three Musketeers. Katie is a proud graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she majored in Technical Theater, with an emphasis on Stage Management. She previously had the pleasure to work with Lifeline for their KidsSeries production The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost. Her favorite shows she has worked on are Bernada AlbaEquusSlendora, and The Wild Party.

  • Aly Renee Amidei (Costume Designer)

    Aly has been designing and writing in Chicago since 2000. She is a proud ensemble member of Lifeline Theatre, where she has designed costumes for Watership DownThe Count of Monte Cristo (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Costume Design), and The Woman in White. Aly is the Artistic Director of WildClaw Theatre, where she has designed costumes for The Great God PanThe RevenantsThe Dreams in the WitchhouseLegionKill MeThe Life of Death, and the upcoming Shadow Over Innsmouth. Aly is also an ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company, where favorite costume designs have included Detective StoryRed NosesOld TimesUncle VanyaMarathon ’33, and Cherry Orchard. She also designed the scenery for Lie of the Mind and makeup for The Master and Margarita(Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Artistic Specialization), and is a regular writer for the late night series Hit Factory Presents. Aly’s designs have also been seen at Piven, Uma Productions, Artistic Home, Lakeside Shakespeare, Vitalist, House Theatre of Chicago, Teatro Vista, Collaboraction, Seanachaí, Silk Road, and Emerald City.

  • Claire Chrzan (Assistant Lighting Designer)

    Claire received her bachelor’s degree in lighting design from Columbia College Chicago. Her past credits include Speaking in Tongues with Interrobang Theatre Project, In the Heart of America with Theatre Seven, Little Shop of Horrors with Street Tempo Theatre, and Boy Gets Girl at The Raven. She is an artistic associate with Interrobang Theatre Project and is serving as production manager for their next season. Upcoming projects include Orange Flower Water with Interrobang and Uncle Bob at Mary Arrchie this summer.

  • Benjamin W. Dawson (Production Manager)

    Ben received his MFA in Technical Design & Production Management from Florida State University. He served as the Production Safety Coordinator with The Santa Fe Opera and as Art Director for several television series with networks like Discovery, PBS, MTV and VH1. In Chicago, Ben has served, among other things, as Production Manager for Zombies Attack Chicago; as Technical Director for Remarcable Theatre’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart; and as the Scene Shop Foreman at Goodman Theatre. He is also currently a Company Member and the Production Manager for Sideshow Theatre Company and the Technical Director for American Theater Company.

  • Alan Donahue (Scenic & Properties Designer)

    Alan has designed over 180 theatre/opera/dance productions over thirty years of nationwide practice — productions ranging from the intimate and environmental to grand scale multi-set spectacles. He has also produced more than additional 160 designs for industrial theatre, trade shows, video, museums, and themed public and commercial spaces. But his artistic home for the last 23 years has been Lifeline Theatre. Alan received Jeff Citations/Awards for his designs of The Little SisterJane Eyre (2001), Around the World in 80 DaysMariette in Ecstasy, and Neverwhere. For Lifeline, Alan has also created literary adaptations: Donald E. Westlake’s Trust Me on This and Adam Langer’s Crossing California for the MainStage; Daniel Pinkwater’s Bongo Larry & Two Bad Bears and Eileen Spinelli’s Sophie’s Masterpiece – A Spider’s Tale for KidSeries. Locally his design work will be seen this summer at The Factory Theatre (‘Namosaur!) and this fall at Lifeline (The Killer Angels) and Remy Bumppo (An Inspector Calls). Come October, Alan heads to Dollywood to supervise the installation of his designs of a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol (with music and lyrics by Ms. Parton).

  • Heather Gilbert (Lighting Designer)

    Heather previously designed The 13 Clocks at Lifeline. Chicago credits include Pedro Paramo (Goodman Theatre); The Whale and Equivocation(Victory Gardens); Harold and the Purple Crayon and Honus and Me(Chicago Children’s Theatre); A Streetcar Named DesireThe Caretaker, and The Real Thing (Writers); The Better Half (Lucky Plush/MCA); HomeComedy of Errors, and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Court Theatre); Our TownThe Mikado, and Cabaret (Hypocrites); and A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf). Off Broadway/regional credits include Our Town with David Cromer at Barrow Street Theatre, the Broad Stage, and the Huntington Theatre; The Farnsworth Invention at the Alley Theatre; and A Raisin in the Sun (Milwaukee Rep). Heather received the 2012 3Arts Award the 1999-2001 NEA/TCG Development Program Award. She serves as Head of Lighting Design at Columbia College.

  • Matt Hawkins (Fight Choreographer)

    Matt Hawkins has been a director/actor/fight choreographer in Chicago for the past twelve years. He is married to Stacy Stoltz.

  • Jessica Kadish (Assistant Director, Dramaturg, Understudy)

    Jessica is thrilled to work with Lifeline Theatre for the first time. Other Chicago acting credits include La Pasión Según Antígona Pérez (Aguijón Theater), Los Carralejas (Colectivo El Pozo), and The Americans (Voice of the City), and staged readings with Chicago Dramatists, Pride Films and Plays, and Teatro Luna. As a director, she works frequently with 2nd Story and Erasing the Distance, and recently assistant-directed Unnatural Spaces with The Guild Complex. Dramaturgy projects include Las Hermanas Padilla (Chicago Fusion Theater) and Arizona: No Roosters in the Desert (Prop Thtr). Jessica is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

  • Mike Przygoda (Original Music & Sound Designer)

    Mike used to go see shows at Lifeline when he was a little kid and never imagined he would one day have a chance to work here! During the day he accompanies dance classes at ChiArts High School on the south side of Chicago. In the evenings he produces and engineers for Speed-Fi Productions, making records for local bands. He is an ensemble member at Strawdog Theatre and Barrel Of Monkeys. He received a Jeff Award in 2012 for Artistic Specialization In Percussion (Moby Dick, The Building Stage).

  • Phil Timberlake (Vocal Coach)

    Phil appeared on the Lifeline stage as Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice, the Angel Islington in Neverwhere, Bunter in Busman’s Honeymoon (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Best Supporting Actor), Prendick in The Island of Dr. Moreau (Non-Equity Jeff Award: Best Production), the Guru/Peppino in Queen Lucia (Non-Equity Jeff Nomination: Best Supporting Actor-Musical) and as Gollum/Legolas The Two Towers. He also coached dialects for The City & The CityTreasure IslandStrong PoisonGaudy NightTalking It Over, and A Room With a View. He is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at the Theatre School, DePaul University. Phil joined the ensemble in 2006.

  • Joe Schermoly (Technical Director)

    Joe is a set designer, technical director, and painter. His design work has been seen at Lifeline Theatre (The Count of Monte CristoThe City & The City), Griffin Theatre (Flare PathPunk RockNo More Dead DogsPortThe Constant Wife), Theatre Wit (Completeness), Strawdog Theatre (Duchess of MalfiMaster and MargaritaRichard III), Sideshow Theatre (IdomeneusThe Ugly One), Eclipse (Beyond the HorizonThe Trestle at Pope Lick Creek) and more. He has also designed and built shows in London for The Finborough, Bush, and Gate theatres, among others. Joe studied set design at Northwestern University and is a proud Griffin Theatre company member. He has received two After Dark Awards for Outstanding Scenic design.

  • Musicians ()

    Justin Amolsch: Horn
    Greg Hirte: Violin
    Kelsee Vandervall: Cello
    Mike Przygoda: Remainder

From Windy City Times

June 19, 2013
By Mary Shen Barnidge

The average playgoer, asked about The Three Musketeers, will probably mumble something about sword-fights, big wigs and a scramble to recover a diamond necklace. You’ll find some of this in Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation of the venerable Dumas sword-and-cloak classic, but the hallmark of this new page-to-stage translation is its adherence to the original source material, albeit illustrated in decidedly modern metaphors.

The first of these we notice is that our titular comrades are not the usual quartet of white guys, but an ethnically-diverse brotherhood rendering immediately recognizable the scorn heaped by cosmopolitan Parisians upon the southern-born D’Artagnan. The second is that the royal guards wear commando gear (T-shirts, berets, kevlar vests), in addition to the obligatory rapiers. More significantly, the boundaries of the warring factions — church and state, Catholic and Protestant, France, England and Spain — are laid out clearly, as are the conflicts they impose on individuals less steadfast in their loyalties as our “three inseparables,” and the senseless deaths engendered by the vanity of powerful men and calculating women.

This is not some stodgy PBS costume-drama, however, all elongated vowels and eyebrow-acting. Scenic designer Alan Donahue has stripped Lifeline’s stage to its bare walls and constructed thereupon a giant jungle-jim, replete with ladders, poles and cross-bars for climbing up, sliding down, spinning around, swinging on and dropping from.

Not only does this facilitate the kind of spectacle that sparked cheers and applause from the press-preview audience, but it allows the action to proceed at cartoon-swift pace without assuming likewise cartoon proportions. If the hitherto-definitive Richard Lester romp resembled a comic book, this is the graphic novel version, where innocent people die, villains go unpunished, and solitary heroes roam the mean streets, secure only in their own code of honor.

Portraying larger-than-life characters in an intimate space without slipping into hyperbolic camp is no easy task, but under Amanda Delheimer Dimond’s deft direction, Glenn Stanton carries off the coming-of-age subtext inherent in D’Artagnan’s progress, flanked by Chris Hainsworth, Dwight Sora, Christopher M. Walsh as his respective mentors. The ten actors filling the remaining 36 roles also retain their individual darkness — indeed, Katie McLean Hainsworth’s Milady de Winter emerges so irredeemably evil that her grisly execution by lynching is well-justified. The show’s run is rumored to be nearly sold out already, so don’t you wait to join in the fun and adventure.



From Chicago Stage Standard

June 9, 2013
By Angela Allyn

4 STARS (out of 4)

If you believe that great theater requires expensive, elaborate sets and costumes, and a state of the art theater with lots of bells and whistles, then you might miss one of the most exciting productions running this summer. The Lifeline Theatre adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic adventure novel swashes and buckles, defends honor, goes for glory and keeps you on the edge of your seat for two and a half hours, even if, like me, you know the story well.

I have loved this story since I was a teen and discovered a dog eared translation lying in my house. The poor Gascon youth, Dartagnan, played with perfect naiveté and bravado, not to mention buff physicality, by Glenn Stanton, finds camaraderie and adventure with the likes of Athos, Porthos and Aramis in the twisted and dysfunctional court of Louis XIII. Lifeline ensemble members Chris Hainsworth and Christopher M. Walsh bring the tragic Athos and the affable Porthos to life. Guest artist Dwight Sora depicts a suitably ascetic (well mostly) Aramis. These men really personify the “All for One and One For All” credo that was so appealing to me as a teen. Watching the other 10 cast members nimbly portray another 3 dozen or so characters while navigating a simple set of platforms and grids that resembles a well designed playground while evoking everything from a castle to a dungeon to a rickety ship crossing the English Channel is a tribute to the strength of Lifeline’s ensemble of designers and the storytelling prowess of director Amanda Delheimer Dimond. The adaptation script, by Robert Kauzlaric, hits every major plotline in this complicated novel, yet moves us along at breathtaking pace.

And of course we have the swords. You cannot do the Three Musketeers without them and this production has LOTS and whips them out every scene or so. Oh, and the sword play has to be good: fast, believable and we don’t really want to see people get hurt; we just want to believe it is imminent. Fight choreographer Matt Hawkins had quite a job to do with the jungle gym set. But he succeeds: between the slashing and exploding, this becomes up close, in your face action, and it is thrilling.

The story is ultimately about the power of friendship in a world where power corrupts and allegiances are complicated. Speaking of shifting alliances: Katie McLean Hainsworth out “evils” the Cardinal as the resident baddie in this version, playing Milady with such devious duplicity that she nearly got boos at the bows.

The show and this version of the tale ends with a disheartening comment on the double edged nature of leadership, a message so timely in an era when our governmental bodies seem incapable of actually governing. It’s too bad this production isn’t taking place during the school year: I could see busloads of high schoolers transformed and discussing the power of this narrative and how the lessons learned by our hero apply today. But it IS summer reading season, so head to Rogers Park and avail yourself of the best storefront adventure on the docket, then pick up a copy of the novel in the lobby and walk over to the beach to relive the glow and savor the story again.



From the Chicago Reader

June 10, 2013
By Zac Thompson


Alexandre Dumas’s 1844 adventure novel, adapted for the stage by Robert Kauzlaric, pits newbie musketeer d’Artagnan and the inseparable trio of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis against a scheming cardinal, a one-eyed count, and a viperous female assassin. In keeping with the conventions of 19th-century melodrama, good battles evil in a plot propelled by coincidence, eavesdropping, misdelivered letters, and mislaid jewelry. Amanda Delheimer Dimond’s thrill-a-minute production unfolds on a set (designed by Alan Donahue) filled with ladders to climb and fireman’s poles to slide down, ensuring that no swash goes unbuckled. The breakneck pacing makes the story difficult to follow at times, but thanks to thrilling swordplay choreographed by Matt Hawkins and the cast’s energetic performances, it hardly matters.



From the Chicago Tribune

June 11, 2013
By Chris Jones

“With a wild set from Alan Donahue that resembles a high-tech adventure playground more than 17th-century France — think horizontal bars, ladders and fireman’s poles — the production is a terrific showcase for the ebullient fight choreography of Matt Hawkins, who seizes this particular opportunity like a modern-day D’Artagnan. Touche, indeed. Luckily for Hawkins and his audience, Athos, Porthos and Aramis like to do their sword work en masse, a communal spirit that Hawkins adroitly exploits. If you’re of the “seen-one-fight-seen-’em-all” school, you’ll be struck by the genuine freshness of Hawkins’ work, partly because Donahue’s set features so many diagonal structures that the blade scenes are constantly pushed into new and interesting visual directions.”



From the Huffington Post

June 14, 2013
By Kelly Kleiman

“Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation is vintage Lifeline, wringing stage clarity out of textual complexity. Few contemporary Americans (or contemporary Frenchmen, for that matter) could explain the significance of Cardinal Richelieu’s sway over the French king or the rivalry between the Cardinal’s militia and the Queen’s guard or the relationship of either to Musketeers fighting in England. But Kauzlaric renders it all clear with just a well-chosen word here or there. And Matt Hawkins’s fight choreography is absolutely phenomenal, almost terrifyingly so, as the actors simultaneously sword fight, kick-box, slide and leap across Alan Donahue’s spare yet flexible set.”



From Stage and Cinema

June 10, 2013
By Samantha Nelson

While it’s brought to film more than a dozen times, Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeersis a tough work to adapt. It’s long, has a huge character list, and has as much courtly intrigue as sword fighting. But Robert Kauzlaric, who previously wrote scripts from other oft-adapted novels The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Picture of Dorian Gray for Lifeline Theatre, strikes the perfect balance in his adaptation, offering the potent mix of buddy comedy, war story, romance, and morality tale that has made the work a classic.

That script is brought to life by the creative choices of director Amanda Delheimer Dimond, who keeps things going even at the tale’s slower points by never having a lull in the action on stage. Characters are constantly skulking about spying on each other or setting up ambushes so that a quiet conversation can suddenly erupt into a fight or a dramatic confrontation, and no time is lost waiting for the scene to change. It’s important to keep things moving since the number of subplots otherwise threaten to bog the story down.

Scenic designer Alan Donahue has created an adult-sized jungle gym on Lifeline’s small stage, offering poles, ladders, ramps and two levels that the actors utilize in outrageous feats of acrobatics and stage fighting (the exhilarating swashbuckling is beautifully constructed by fight choreographer Matt Hawkins). Yet the strange equipment is subtle enough that it doesn’t get in the way of the set becoming a tavern, a palace bedroom, or an isolated convent.

That spectacle is a lot of fun, but the play is anchored by Glenn Stanton’s D’Artagnan. The country boy who comes to Paris dreaming of joining the renowned Musketeers is endearing throughout his transformation from a temperamental kid willing to provoke duels over the smallest slight to a love struck soldier and eventually a wily hero. His striking good looks add to his appeal (he was the talk of the ladies’ bathroom during intermission) and Dimond is all too happy to use that to her advantage, constructing multiple excuses for Stanton to take off his shirt.

Chris Hainsworth, Dwight Sora, and Christopher M. Walsh are all excellent as the titular musketeers, especially Hainsworth’s tortured portrayal of Athos. But the best acting is done by Katie McLean as Milady de Winter. She’s such a perfect villainess, beautifully manipulating even the most loyal and noble characters around her and the audience in turn. It’s hard not to feel bad for her when she’s punished, even though she really, really deserves it.

While the supporting cast is mostly strong, Miguel Nunez is a weak link. His distinctive voice is perfect for the pompous King Louis XIII but he can’t alter it enough to slip into the character of Lord Buckingham, which makes it hard to view the romantic rivals as separate characters. Another flaw in the show comes from Aly Renee Amidei’s costumes. The French nobility and clergy dress in period garb while the British wear simple suits. The anachronism works for the soldiers, who dress in bright-colored T-shirts, berets and — in the case of the musketeers — jackets with convenient nametags; it manifests the idea of a uniform and helps distinguish between sides. But for the British nobles, it just makes them seem unimportant.

Fortunately those are just minor distractions and it’s easy to ignore them when your attention is called back to the rich plot and spectacular fights.



From Spotlight on Lake

Swordfights and Muskets featured in “The Three Musketeers”
June 14, 2013
By Carol Moore


A young man, D’Artagnon (the very buff Glenn Stanton), who dreams of becoming a Musketeer like his late father, kisses his mother (Mildred Marie Langford) goodbye, as he’s leaving for Paris. Of course the Parisians recognize a provincial and make fun of him. Unfortunately, full of youthful swagger, D’Artagnon challenges one of his tormentors, who turns out to be the Comte De Rochefort (Mike Ooi), to a duel, which he loses.

When he meets the Three Inseparables, one at a time, he aggravates each of them into a duel. When he goes to meet Porthos (Christopher M. Walsh), he’s surprised to learn that Athos (Chris Hainsworth) and Aramis (Dwight Sora) are his seconds. When they find out about his father, they take D’Artagnon under their collective wing.

D’Artagnon’s bravery catches the eye of the very swishy King Louis XIII (Miguel Nunez), earning him an appointment to the King’s guard. One day, his landlord, Monsieur Bonacieux (Carlos Rogelio Diaz), tells D’Artagnon that his wife, Constance (Deanna Myers), the Queen’s seamstress, has been arrested and asks him to go to the Queen for help. The Queen gets Constance — who turns out to be the love of D’Artagnon’s life, even though she’s already married — out of jail, bringing him and cowardly Monsieur Bonacieux to the attention of the evil Cardinal Richelieu (Sean Sinitski) who has sent his beautiful minion, the depraved Milady de Winter (Katie McLean Hainsworth) to England to kill the Duke of Buckingham (Nunez). When the Queen learns about Milady’s task, she sends D’Artagnon to London with a letter warning Buckingham, the man she loves.

“The Three Musketeers” has 14 actors playing more than 50 roles. In designating certain roles, I’ve thrown in some convenient abbreviations such as – Musketeers and King’s Guards (M&KG), the Cardinal’s Guards (CG), British Barons and Soldiers (BBS) and Drunkards, Innkeepers & Inn Patrons (DIIP).

The actors playing D’Artagnon, Athos, Porto’s, Aramids, and Milady have one role, everyone else has at least two. Mildred Marie Langford plays D’Artagnon’s Mother, Queen Anne, Madame Coquenard, an attorney’s wife and Porthos’ mistress, and Kitty, Milady’s maidservant. Miguel Nunez plays the King, Buckingham and DIIP. Adrian Byrd is both Monsieur de Treville, Captain of the Musketeers and CG. Deanna Myers is Constance and DIIP. Sean Sinitski is Cardinal Richelieu and one of his Guards (CG). Mike Ooi plays the Comte de Rochefort and Milady’s despised English husband, Lord de Winter. Kyle Vincent Terry is M&KG, a Murderer, BBS, a Priest and DIIP. Dan Lin is Felton, M&KG, CG, BBS and DIIP. Finally, Carlos Rogelio Diaz, laying claim to the most roles, is Monsieur Bonacieux, Pierre de LaPorte, the queen’s cloak bearer, a Mendicant, M&KG, CG, BBI and DIIP.

Lifeline Scenic & Properties Designer Alan Donahue’s motto must be less is best. Using a bare stage, he added horizontal and vertical poles and ladders connecting with each other and two small platforms on opposite sides. In different combinations, they became the varied locations in “The Three Musketeers” — a forest, a fort, a battlefield, rooms in the palace, an inn, the Cardinal’s residence, even a ship’s mast.

Fight Choreographer Matt Hawkins is to be congratulated for the spectacular sword fight involving nine actors (D’Artagnon, the Three Inseparables and the five Cardinal’s Guards). In addition to dueling, he’s incorporated some gymnastics which adds a whole new level of difficulty. At the end of the fight — which lasted several minutes — the audience cheered.

The M&KG, CG and BBS all wear uniforms consisting of T-shirts with black cargo pants and boots. The Musketeers have bright blue T-shirts and black vests with their names above the pocket flap. The King’s Guards wear white T-Shirts, the Cardinal’s Guards wear red.

I really enjoyed the swashbuckling performances in Robert Kauzlaric’s adaptation of “The Three Musketeers.”




June 15, 2013
By Anthony J. Mangini


“Without a doubt, Lifeline Theatre’s recent stage adaptation of French novelist Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers contains all the adrenaline-pumping athleticism and quick-turning escapades one may dutifully expect from this timeless adventure story.And director Amanda Delheimer Dimond’s frequently ingenuous staging — featuring fourteen performers as fifty different characters, set across two countries and over a span of three years — successfully marshals the disparate elements of Dumas’s gargantuan story into something as teasingly thrilling as any Six Flags roller coaster ride. Matt Hawkins fight choreography is especially cinematic in its no holds barred intensity, and sprawls with a kind of epic free-for-all over Alan Donahue’s jungle gym-set of firepoles, balancing beams, and ladders.”