American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC Review – Much More Than a Nose

A voice shouts out over the audience from the back of the house yelling at one of the actors to get off the stage. We swivel around in our seats trying to place where the mysterious voice came from. Of course, this could be none other than the leading man himself, Cyrano De Bergerac. Known for many fantastic feats including his mastery of poetry and fighting abilities, but we have not yet seen his infamous face! Notorious for his rather large nose, CYRANO DE BERGERAC takes us on an incredible love story as he sneakily tries to win the hand of a beautiful woman.

American Players Theatre Creates a Love Triangle

Who says the perfect man can’t exist? Or at least when you put two of them together you might get the perfect combination of brains and body. That’s Cyrano’s hope when he teams up with fellow soldier, Christian, in order to try and win the lovely Roxane’s heart. Cyrano doesn’t have confidence in his appearance and Christian doesn’t have a way with words, so Cyrano agrees to write letters to Roxane signing them in Christian’s name.

Of course a love story can never be simple. While in the midst of this love triangle we are taken to a moonlight rendezvous, a monastery, and even onto the battlefield. Only time will tell if Cyrano’s plan will work through all of these adventures and if Roxane can look past his outward appearance to love him for his soul!

 

American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
Laura Rook and James Ridge as Roxane and Cyrano Photo: Michael Brosilow
American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
James Ridge and Casey Hoekstra as Cyrano and Valvert Photo: Michael Brosilow

Charming Cast of Characters

Each of the actors in CYRANO is a joy to watch on stage as they work together to create the world of the play. The ensemble surrounding the featured actors are just as fun to watch from the boisterous Gascon battalion to the baker’s wife fed up with Raguenaeu’s lack of business sense.

Also Cyrano’s best friend, Ragueneau, played by David Daniel, is a budding poet and so sweet we can’t help but wish him all the best in his various artistic endeavors.

Roxane’s friend, played by Kelsey Brennan, has an insatiable sweet tooth and her interactions with Cyrano have us laughing as he tries to have a moment alone with Roxane but she remains painfully oblivious.

 

American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
Laura Rook and Danny Martinez as Roxane and Christian Photo: Michael Brosilow

Christian, played by Danny Martinez, has just the right amount of confidence paired with vulnerability because he knows he needs to be more than just a good looking face to woo Roxane.

Roxanne, played by Laura Rook, has great comedic instincts and a full range of emotions. She is in the midst of the action rather than idly sitting by. She asks for what she wants and gets it, not settling for less than true love. When her man is off at war she is sure as hell going to find a way to see him. She’s perfectly charming and fierce!

But of course Cyrano himself holds the show and we are engaged with his every line. James Ridge has amazing charisma and plays a wonderfully multi-faceted character.

We feel the brunt of his anger if someone dares insult his nose as a chair goes flying across the stage. His face and gestures reflect his heartfelt longing when he confesses he’s been in love with Roxane all his life. And his bravery is unmatched on the battlefield as he fights alongside his soldiers.

Ridge carries the show and gives us a Cyrano we won’t soon forget.

American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
James Ridge as Cyrano Photo: Michael Brosilow

Everything Comes Together on The Hill

All the technical aspects of this show feel simple enough where they work effortlessly with the show, but also have some grander aspects so we do feel transported to a different time. The set design by Nathan Stuber also transports us with a simple, but effective designs. With musical interludes, we switch from the theatre, to the flour dusted bakery, to a war-ridden bunker with very minimal set pieces.

The costumes, designed by Mathew J. LeFebvre, are mix of fancy, over the top brocade jackets and full ballgowns for the upperclass right alongside the simple, rough costumes for the soldiers.

Lights, designed by Michael A. Peterson, perfectly compliment the nature surrounding the outdoor stage. They fade as naturally as the dusk falls at The Hill Stage at American Players Theater. When we’re at the battle scene it’s incredible to experience, especially sitting underneath the stars. The trees light up blue and red as the sound of gunfire takes over.

American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC

CYRANO DE BERGERAC isn’t a boring play by any means and has a traditional storyline packed with action, romance, and fun. Even though it was written in 1897 and does have a poetic script almost like a Shakespearean play, the cast does a great job delivering their lines making it easy to understand. So if you’re not a fan of Shakespeare, CYRANO might not be for you. But if you love a play that has it all, it’s a perfect fit!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

When

Now through October 6, 2017
Performance dates vary, please check website

Where

American Players Theatre
The Hill Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
Spring Green, WI 53588

 

Tickets

$63-$84
Tickets can be purchased at the American Players Theatre website

Photos

Michael Brosilow

American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
Danny Martinez as Christian and Chiké Johnson as LeBret Photo: Michael Brosilow
American Players Theatre CYRANO DE BERGERAC
The cast of Cyrano de Bergerac Photo: Michel Brosilow

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