The 3 Musketeers is coming to Shea’s 710 Theatre November 1st to 18th and, according to Director Chris Kelly, audiences can expect an exciting evening of action, adventure, and romance.

As we impatiently wait for Opening Night, however, let's take a peek behind the curtain to see how All For One Theatre, a first ever, unique collaboration of five local theaters, came about.

It all began more than a year ago over lunch. Vincent O’Neill of Irish Classical Theatre and Randall Kramer of MusicalFare Theatre recalled that it actually began with a series of lunches at Kostas on Hertel attended by themselves, Scott Behrend of Road Less Traveled Productions, and Meg Quinn of Theatre of Youth. They share a commonality in running theater companies which, on the scale of things, is not that common a career. As they shared experiences and challenges with each other, they became friends, leaving whatever egos might be in existence at the door. Apparently, you can find said egos by the coatrack to the right of the door as you walk into Kostas. The four discussed the concept of creating a regional presence, and the idea of collaborating on a production sprang into being. They took their ideas of sharing resources to Michael Murphy, President of Shea’s, and The 3 Musketeers was born as the very appropriate initial offering of what they named All For One Theatre.

They all agreed that the production should not bear the hallmark of any one theater and realized that, among them, they know virtually everyone associated with theater within a 100-mile radius of Buffalo. They chose top people for this production “to show what Buffalo is capable of," said Mr. O’Neill. On the team are Production Manager Kevin Faulhaber, Scenic Designer Ken Shaw, Costume Designer Dixon Reynolds, and Lighting Designer Chris Cavanagh. Steve Vaughan is the Combat Director responsible for five large battle scenes. There are also smaller fights with swords and some unusual objects, according to Renee Landrigran, who plays Constance Bonacieux.

Kate LoConti said she loves playing the villainous Milady the Countess and is thrilled to be a part of this first ever collaborative venture. Anthony Alcocer is Aramis to Steve Copps’ Porthos and Christopher Avery’s Athos. In his tenth show with Chris Kelly, Mr. Alcocer said there is "no cap to fun working with him," and that playing a hero for a few hours in an adventure is like being a kid again. Fisher, who plays Captain Treville, Commander of the Musketeers, said he spent many hours at Studio Arena watching the show, and finds it "stupendous to be on stage in this marvelous production."

Patrick Cameron plays the impoverished d’Artagnan who longs to be a Musketeer of the Guard. He called the production "a colossal undertaking with themes of love, destruction, and death." He pointed out that a great deal of the action in the play is left to the imagination of the creative team, both actors and production crew so, in addition to learning lines, blocking, etc., all are engaged in creating the "in-betweens" that make a production unique and exciting. Mr. Kelly enthusiastically agreed.

Expect swordplay, men in tights, damsels in distress and damsels in fights, a romantic action and adventure story, a first ever collaboration among five local theaters, some tops-in-their-field actors and production crew, and a beautiful downtown theater. This is truly One For All.

In addition to the advertised performances, there will alo be two free matinees of The 3 Musketeers for Buffalo schoolchildren. The show is appropriate for those 10 and up. Well, a mature 10, if indeed there is such a thing.

En garde!