The Alexandre Dumas classic, The Three Musketeers, has found new life in the forests of Ellicott City. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company puts a fresh spin on the classic tale of runaway D'Artagnan as he ventures through 17th century France with the legendary three musketeers of the King's court: Athos, Porthos and Aramis.
Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in-studio with her review of the live-action outdoor performance.
And she waxes poetic about how the experience was, truly, tempest-tossed by the vagaries of weather.
Years ago, writing for The Baltimore Sun, Rousuck penned a take-off on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) after attending a spate of outdoor plays in exceedingly hot weather.
The poem below was written after she attempted to see the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s outdoor production of The Three Musketeers on three separate occasions. Rain caused two postponements; on the third try, the performance made it through the first act and halfway into the second, when lightning stopped the show.
So, with inspiration from and apologies to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 (“When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes...”), here is J. Wynn Rousuck's follow-up sonnet:
When, in disgrace with weather and dark skies,
I and the cast beweep our soggy state,
And trouble rumbling heaven with our cries,
And look upon the stage and curse blind fate,
Wishing us free of lightning’s deadly stroke.
No rain delays – of this we are obsessed,
Desiring balmy skies, not torrents’ soak.
With what we most enjoy contented least,
These summer storms we find ourselves despising.
Weather.com, the site we’ve learned to hate,
Like break of day without the sun arising.
Oh, weather gods, forestall another rain date.
For once, to see a play all the way through!
Shakespeare, how did you do it? Wish I knew.