Theatre Review: Cyrano de Bergerac

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 24, 2008

This venerable play by Edmond Rostand features two kinds of characters: ordinary mortals, and Cyrano, who can do virtually anything. He composes verses, he opposes corruption and defends the helpless. But Cyrano’s confidence does not extend to romance. He’s sure that his world class nose would become the object of a lover’s ridicule. So he makes a deal with a hunk of a young cadet.

Cyrano: “Borrow my eloquence, and you lend me your handsome face. Lend me that and we two will make one hero of romance. Would you dare to repeat to her the words I gave you day by day?”

This melodrama about veiled courtship was hugely popular in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. But nowadays many folks only know this tale though a modernized Hollywood version by Steve Martin – and even that came out 20 years ago.

This production of the original play is snappy, bright, and fun. It’s a cavalcade of colorful costumes, swooshing swords and witty verbal zingers.  And at the center is actor John Pribyl as Cyrano – crusading like Don Quixote, performing feats like a superhero, and all the while, quietly carrying the hidden torch of love.