‘Cyrano De Bergerac,’ or how a greatly oversized nose can affect your life
What is beauty? What is ugliness? Are they qualities only external to a visage or are they internal, in the heart and soul, as well?
What is love, and can love be blinded by beauty or ugliness? Can unrequited love and friendship endure? How large is too much nose? These and other profound and melodramatic questions are asked and answered in the dynamic production of “Cyrano De Bergerac,” currently playing at the Nevada Theatre.
Cyrano has a nose of which Jimmy Durante would be envious. In fact, it’s so big that even Cyrano’s legendary swordsmanship, poetic abilities and rapier wit aren’t sufficient to supply him the confidence to court his beloved Roxane. Thus, Cyrano writes lyrical and passionate words and then, unbeknownst to Roxane, transmits them via the handsome but dim-witted soldier Christian, causing her to love Christian. But in fact, although Roxane is first drawn to Christian for his gorgeous exterior, Cyrano’s words and sentiments are what she really loves.
This play is a very ambitious undertaking by long-time Nevada County music and show producer, Paul Emery, and co-directors/actors, John Deaderick and Theo Black, but they definitely succeed. Gathering a cast of 21 actors to portray more than 40 parts, they take you back to the 17th century, with the action spilling out into the theater and enveloping the audience. Have you ever wanted to be in the middle of a sword fight, yet not risk getting hurt? Now you can.
Deaderick is a grand, extravagant but tenderhearted Cyrano, wearing an imposing proboscis molded especially for his nose. Black nicely interprets the pretty but dim Christian. And Roxane is wonderfully portrayed by Skyler Myers, who highlights her every scene. I also particularly like Jed Dixon as the ebullient baker, Ragueneau. The entire cast works well together as an ensemble and they actually seem to be having fun up on stage.
Integral to the play are the wonderfully designed, functional set by Pamela Hodges and the fabulous costumes, designed by Sharon Olson. The directors’ clever and creative integration of their actors within the stage set and into and around the entire theater, wearing the gorgeous period clothing, creates an encompassing theater experience for the audience and fully expresses the sweeping scope of the play within its showy and swashbuckling time period.
Kudos to Paul Emery for bringing us this impressive “Cyrano,” which will continue at the Nevada Theater through Feb. 27.
Hindi Greenberg greatly enjoyed the bawdiness of this play and how the actors seemed to live in their fantasy time period. But then, isn’t life about enjoying the bawdiness and fantasy, yet also dealing appropriately with the realities?
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