This is a "classic" - as you know, not "my kind of show" and 3 hours long... but WOW.
This one was "Stratford quality" directed by Edward Daranyi, the Resident Teaching Artist for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival - and Mark Colson was stunning in the title role - with humor and pathos and, of course, panache.
Despite my confusion that comes with fancy 19th century language, French names and unfamiliar wars, the classic tale of unrequited love shines through. The large-nosed swashbuckler has profound love for the elegant Roxanne (Sarah Goeke) but believes she could never love him because of his over-large nose. He expresses his love by putting words in the mouth and in the letters of the handsome Christian (Eric Miller) whom Roxanne THINKS she loves, but...
The set is magnificent - a towering ruined courtyard/castle that serves as several locations, complete with wisps of fog, falling leaves, and falling snow (Matthew Imhoff) enhanced by impressive sounds of battle and evocative music (Jason Price) and impressive battle/sword-fight scenes (Christina Traister).
The beautifully remodeled Fairchild Theatre is much improved, with new seats, better acoustics... and the stage is taller and more open without the old proscenium. (Back entrance of the Auditorium Building on the corner of Auditorium Road and Farm Lane on MSU's campus.)
So... rush on down; you have 45 minutes to get there tonight... or plan for a stellar afternoon tomorrow at 2.