When you think of the "The Three Musketeers," what comes to mind? The swashbuckling comrades who strut about France in funny hats? Chocolate? How about a slapstick comedy involving a troupe of singing nuns?

Bishop O'Connell High School's production of "The Three Musketeers" gave a fresh twist to the classic tale with modern ad-libbing and physical comedy.

The action takes place in Paris, for the most part, where young, eager D'Artagnan (Brian Coleman) aspires to be a great musketeer. D'Artagnan is initiated into the band of musketeers in a show of bravery and falls hopelessly in love with Constance Bonacieux (Rose Brand), the queen's maid.

However, all is not well in the French monarchy, as the villainous Cardinal Richelieu and his henchmen grow closer to uncovering a secret liaison between the Queen of France and the English Duke of Buckingham. The musketeers must work together to save the queen and France from Richelieu's villainy.

The Three Musketeers (Conor O'Rourke, Sawyer Heppes, and James "Bink" Stewart) were a particularly strong ensemble.

Each had endearing quirks, and they worked well together in their heroic sword fights and energetic comedic play. Their protege, D'Artagnan, was also charming with his lovesick smile. Coleman let a sensitive, darker side of his character come out when his love died. As Constance, Brand gave a strong portrayal, with a pitch-perfect French accent. Celina Ces gave an outstanding performance as the queen's wry and sarcastic handmaid.

With every good story, there are villains. Nick Horner ruled over the stage as Cardinal Richelieu with a silky voice and a strong presence. Following close behind was the mysterious Milady de Winter (Cara Brennan), who was particularly chilling.

Lighting cues were occasionally late or ineffective and some actors' speech was hard to understand. However, the strong leads and comic timing kept the energy high.

The costumes, designed by Aileen Mooney, were beautiful and intricate and reflected the time period. Set changes were seamless and the accompanying music to many scenes was appropriate (especially Nat "King" Cole's "Mona Lisa" during love scenes).

Overall, Bishop O'Connell's "The Three Musketeers" was a fun-filled comedy that made an old story feel fresh.

Emily Marquet

Bishop Ireton

What do you get when you cross a young hero with a knack for sword fighting, a corrupt leader and three hilarious legends? The answer is simple: Bishop O'Connell's production of "The Three Musketeers."

The play tells the story of young D'Artagnan, who travels to Paris to pursue his dream of becoming one of the famous musketeers. Three gallant fellows in the group, Porthos, Athos and Aramis, befriend him. Together, they battle the villainous Cardinal Richelieu to protect the honor of King Louis XIII's wife, Anne. Along the way, they encounter situations filled with love, action and comedic hijinks.

The Three Musketeers (Conor O'Rourke, Sawyer Heppes and James Stewart) stood out as the stars of the show. O'Rourke delivered his punch lines with zest and clarity. His humor was as massive as his lust for women and love for fashion. Heppes made the audience roar as the drunk Athos, and Stewart had the clearest line delivery in the show. Each word was crisp and rolled off his tongue. These three dashing gentlemen interacted with the audience as they strode down the aisles. They made the perfect comedic trio.

Nick Horner was exceptional as the sinister Cardinal Richelieu. His malevolent desire for more power crept out with Horner's physicality. His stern and venomous eyes, stiff walk and intimidating glares made you shiver.

Celina Ces was a standout in a small role as Donna Estefana, the Spanish lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne. Ces broke her character's language barrier with comic lines and high energy. Nicole Kardaras was also memorable in her small role as the mother superior.

The run crew handled the scene changes smoothly, but the spotlights were a little shaky and seemed off cue.

While cute and witty, the injections of pop culture (Louis Vuitton items, the 1970s pop song "Afternoon Delight") were awkward and the show would have been more believable without them.

O'Connell's cast took a seemingly difficult show and made it look simple. The motto "All for one and one for all!" was evident in this tightly knit cast.

Julie Chappell

James Madison

Anthony Benedicto as King Louis XIII at Bishop O'Connell's dress rehearsal of "The Three Musketeers," which is based on the Alexandre Dumas classic.Sawyer Heppes as Athos, from left, James Stewart as Aramis and Conor O'Rourke as Porthos practice their lines for "The Three Musketeers." At right, Rose Brand is Constance and Brian Coleman is D'Artagnan.