The space at Theater Wit has become intimate with a small audience, dark walls, and bare, incandescent lightbulbs hanging overheard reminiscent of a trendy coffee shop. But behind this seemingly modern decorating technique, lies a brick walled set complete with a Juliet balcony bringing us back to the 1800s. This theme of subtly mixing the modern with the classic lies within BoHo Theatre’s production of CYRANO.
BoHo Theatre’s Contemporary Love Triangle
CYRANO, written in the 1800s, has been remade countless times and interpreted in a variety of time periods. And how could you not fall for this love triangle?
Even though Cyrano doubts the lovely Roxane could ever love someone with as big a nose as his, there’s no doubt his strength lies in his ability to bear his soul through words. When he finds Roxane loves the good-looking but not so good with words Christian, the two devise a plan. With Cyrano’s words and Christian’s good looks, they make the perfect man to win Roxane’s heart.
Fraught with love, passion, brotherhood, and humor CYRANO is never boring. The BoHo Theatre ensemble has fully engaged us by putting their hearts into every moment of this play.
Cyrano Wins by a Nose
CYRANO is a challenging role for any seasoned actor as he always feels and portrays what seems like 10 different emotions at any given moment. Michael B. Woods gives us each of those emotional complexities all the while drawing us in and playing to our emotions as well.
His jokes and playfulness around his nose have the audience in stitches at his first appearance.
His boastfulness and bravery come through as he fights 100 men, coming away almost unscathed.
Most of all, it feels as though there are waves of love and passion rolling across the stage in his scenes professing his love for Roxane.
While our leading man held his scenes with every ounce and strength that we expect from a Cyrano, there is no mistaking this production is as much about the ensemble as it is about Cyrano.
The cast has translated Edmond Rostand’s original play to create this work that speaks to a modern audience. It’s about a two hour runtime, so perhaps a bit shorter than other adaptations of CYRANO you may have seen, but not any less impactful.
Each ensemble member takes on multiple roles throughout the play and put their whole heart into each one. Christina Gorman switches from nobleman De Valvert to a broad member of the Gascony guard. Eleanor Katz has a larger than life personality in any character she plays. And Henry Greenberg has us laughing whenever he’s on stage with his comedic relief roles.
Theatrical Techniques Wow!
The effects of CYRANO aid in the telling of this story. The swashbuckling alone will keep every audience member on their toes. Each fight choreographed by Jon Beal is a cross between a fight to the very death and a piece of performance art.
All the other theatrical elements work with our cast to keep the focus on the action and words of this play. Everything from the costumes, to the lighting, to the soundtrack compliment the story combining modern and classic without taking our focus away from the cast.
CYRANO is a fantastic story to begin with - the love triangle, the band of Gascony brothers, wit, charm, war - every theme packed into one play. BoHo’s take is a good fit for anyone who loves the original play as it brings a fresh take to this work. CYRANO is engaging anyway you look at it and should not be missed for those who looking for a show that has it all!
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Now through April 15th
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
1229 W Belmont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
MICHAEL B. WOODS
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at (773) 975-8150 or online at the BoHo Theatre website
G. "MAX" MAXIN IV
MICHAEL VAN HOWE
DANIEL FIDDLER, EVAN FRANK
Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago
About the Author
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski