Synetic’s ‘Three Musketeers’ is One for All

Cardinal Richelieu’s sinister henchman Rochefort (Peter Pereyra) and protagonist D’Artagnan (Dallas Tolentino) thrill in one of the many fight scenes in Synetic Theater’s production of “The Three Musketeers.” (Johnny Shryock)

Sword fights, political intrigue and infidelity – an action packed adventure is underway at Synetic Theater in Arlington, Va. Synetic’s adaption of Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers” is enjoyable but long.

A naive young swordsman and dreamer named D’Artagnan (Dallas Tolentino) moves to Paris determined to join the ranks of King Louis XIII’s personal guards, the Musketeers. He is dismayed to learn that the Musketeers have turned into drunken womanizers. The Musketeers are a motley trio who are harassed by the henchmen of the sinister Cardinal Richelieu (a convincingly creepy Dan Istrate). The portly Porthos (Hector Reynoso) brings the muscle, Aramis (Matthew Ward) is a delusional wannabe priest and Athos (Ben Cunis) has a dark past.

In addition to playing Athos, Cunis choreographed the well-executed fights. The play is at its best when the Musketeers are in the spotlight. The men trade barbs and witty banter in between duels and other mayhem. The acting is very physical, and fans of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” will especially enjoy the horseback riding.

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Cardinal Richelieu (Dan Istrate) offers Milady (Irina Tsikurishvili) dispensation in exchange for other misdeeds in “The Three Musketeers,” playing at Synetic Theater. (Johnny Shryock).

The ensemble is fun to watch in fight mode too. Zana Gankhuyag is a standout who is tossed around a lot in the melee.

The first act passes quickly, but the second act drags the show past the two-hour mark. While dance choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili (who does double duty as the villainous Milady) is clearly skilled, Milady and Athos’ erotic dance feels awkward. The sequence does not advance the plot.

The dimly-lit set is eerie and ominous. The use of the color red stands out as especially effective. Kudos to lighting designer Brittany Diliberto and set and costume designer Anastasia Rurikov Simes for creating such a fitting backdrop. However, some of the costumes are cheesy, particularly Milady’s getup.

Arrive early to check out a fun 3-D preview of the play next to the box office. For those driving to the Crystal City neighborhood for the play, there is free underground parking at the Crystal City Shops on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays.

“The Three Musketeers” is playing at Synetic Theater in Arlington, Va., through June 9. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $35, with discounts available to students and those under the age of 25. Senior citizens and members of the military also qualify for discounted tickets. For more information, call 800-494-8497 .