Who doesn’t love a great adventure with romance, daring, and intrigue? Alexander Dumas’s 1844 novel The Three Musketeers delivers everything we could hope for in a tale of heroes, villains, and damsels in distress. Fabulous swashbuckling adventures that stand the test of time, like The Three Musketeers, not only whisk us away but also bring us home. Dumas’ Musketeers are loyal, noble, and fun but also flawed people who need their community to survive. They are both who we wish we were and who we know we are. It is this duality that keeps this story fresh and relatable in every decade, and every decade has come back to this well. In 2023, we celebrate not only the release of two new film adaptations of The Three Musketeers, but also, the 90th, 75th, 50th, and 30th anniversaries of earlier film adaptations of Dumas’s novel throughout the past century. To be clear, there are many dozens of adaptations of Dumas’s classic novel but these four, arguably the best known of the many versions, coincidentally also celebrate milestone birthdays this year. The oldest of these is perhaps the most bizarre, a product of the political xenophobia of the 1930s, it features a baby-faced John Wayne as a member of the French Foreign Legion fighting in north Africa. The 1948 version is hands down the most nostalgically swashbuckling with a very charming Gene Kelly as the impetuous D’Artagnan. This version also has the best swordplay, it’s fast, beautifully choreographed, and playful to watch. While the star-studded 1973 version is gorgeously opulent and so very seventies in its sensibilities, with the open-shirt Michael York, the stunning Raquel Welch, and Charlton Heston’s deliciously biting turn as the infamous Cardinal Richelieu. I’m a 90’s girl so my favorite is the 1993 Disney version with Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Southerland, and the dreamy Chris O’Donnell. This version has all of the blunted edges of a Disney classic but it’s very funny thanks to a perfect Oliver Platt, and Tim Curry is without a doubt the best Cardinal Richelieu of them all. Michael Wincott, who you will have seen last summer in Nope, also gives us a devastatingly tortured Rochefort in the Disney version.The two new adaptations of The Three Musketeers this year join a crowded field of contenders and not all of them are great. The most recent trailer for the Signature Entertainment version is full of stilted dialogue and awkward swordplay. However, the French version being released in two parts this year, one at Easter and the other at Christmas, looks outstanding. Spoken French gives an added romance and authenticity to the adventure and it also strikes me as the grittiest and most historically accurate version of Dumas’s fiction. Yet, it is the story that stands the test of time, steadfast in any language and true through the whimsy of trends and cultural conventions.

While The Colonial Theatre building rests, our team is busily preparing a treasure trove of great stories to share with you. We can’t wait for you to join us for this summer’s adventure, after all, you are one of us — one for all, and all for one.