Review: The Old Musketeers

The Old Musketeers, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; $19-$22. Chautauqua Playhouse in the La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael; (916) 489-7529; Through October 1.
Rated 4.0

Part farce, part fart jokes—the Chautauqua Playhouse’s production of The Old Musketeers is totally engaging.

Written by Rodger Hoopman, who also stars, along with John Haine and Philip Pittman, the play is about three “mature” (in age, anyway) actors who once portrayed the Three Musketeers on film some 30 years ago and who have reunited for a one-off special event in which they re-create selected scenes in the movie as it is screened for an audience. The trio hopes to revisit its career high while reinvigorating its members’ now-sagging careers. Hoopman creates three distinct aging characters, but saves the flashiest, gassiest one for himself as the actor who decides too close to curtain time that he needs to visit the men’s room. He spends the rest of the evening trying—and often failing—to suppress the urge to break wind. Warren Harrison directs with amazing precision. The timing with which doors open (a character peeks in, then the door closes just as another opens) is a marvel—and the actors have the rhythm down perfectly. Nate Lynn is a standout in the role of an actor’s assistant who faints at critical moments.