I hope Alexandre Dumas can understand where I’m coming from; his timeless classic obviously deserves a reverence reserved only for those authors who have proven themselves worthy of our praise. That said, his work has been done so many times on screen and on stage that all of us are very familiar with the Musketeer rally cry; “All for one, and one for all” is as well known as “To be, or not to be.” Putting on Dumas – while timeless – has the same effect as putting on Shakespeare: we’ve all been here before, so why should this time be any different? Brian Maticic and the other writers of “Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost” have the answer: because there’s so much more to tell!
The first thing I noticed as I sat down in the black box theatre was that the production team spared no expense; we were in for a ride, and I found myself incredibly excited to be there for opening night. Almost immediately, I was greeted by a PA announcement from the higher-ups of “New Phoenix:” Sit down, shut up, and enjoy the ride, because there is so much more to come. My favorite moments of the show were incredibly well thought out; while this is a re-telling of an old classic, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a fresh, new perspective, and that is exactly what director Brian Maticic gives us.
We are greeted with the usual story: those with too much power have the ambition to overthrow the current oligarchy, and bring in a new regime, but a few special rebels are in the wrong place at the right time and make sure that the usurpers’ plans are foiled. Speaking of the rebels, special mention needs to made of the actors portraying the titular musketeers: Cody Goulder (Athos), Mia Passarella (Porthos), Anabel Olguin (Aramis), and David Magadan (Dartagnon) play off of each other with such ease you’d have thought they’ve been doing this show for several seasons already. Passarella especially deserves praise for some of the best show-stealing moments as the amorous, feisty Porthos, a role originally written for, and portrayed by, men. This is my favorite thing about Brelby; the young company isn’t afraid to shake things up when it comes to casting, and having two of the main musketeer roles played by women is a welcomed change.
“Utopia Lost” is a new spin on an old classic, and it deserves the praise and attention as the writers have done an amazing job of turning such a well-known story into something new and refreshing; it’s “The Three Musketeers” meets “The Hunger Games” meets “Fallout 3.” Yes, this show is so nerd-tastic that it refers to awesome video games on top of amazing literature (one scene takes place in a tavern called “The Fallout,” a subtle nod to Bethesda’s wildly popular post-apocalyptic RPG franchise).
“Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost” is the most fun I have had at the theatre in a long time. Brelby put on an another amazing show last summer – “She Kills Monsters” – and while that was an incredible show, “Musketeers” overshadows it in the best possible ways. I cannot stress how much I love this production and should you find yourself in Glendale over the next few weeks, you would be remiss if you skipped “Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost.” The cast and crew should be exceptionally proud of themselves, because this is one of the best productions I have ever seen.
Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime performance; “Utopia Lost” is beyond all expectations, and all involved at Brelby should be proud of themselves for this wonderful production.
“Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost” is an original adaptation by the 2015 Brelby Writer’s Circle (Luke Gomez, Brian Maticic, Carolyn McBurney, Steven Cleaveland, Kayla Kermode, and John Rose) and is directed by Brian Maticic. Tickets can be purchased online at Brelby’s Artful.ly store page.
The show continues to run throughout the remaining weekends in July and into August:
July 17-18, 24-25, 30-31, and August 1 at 7:30 PM
July 19 and 26 at 2:00 PM