‘Cyrano’ — a new look at an old hero

Cyrano (J. Anthony Crane) steals a moment with Roxanne (Sharon Rietkerk) in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's production of ‘Cyrano,’ playing through May 1 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo: Kevin Berne

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley does it again with its regional premiere of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano, translated by Michael Hollinger and adapted by Hollinger and Aaron Posner. There are a number of versions about this character since 1897 and this offering by TheatreWorks brings a fresh look at this romantic, swirling, swashbuckling, poignant character.

Cyrano has a challenge. He is an intelligent, amusing, clever talker, an expert swordsman, a lyrical, sensitive lover with integrity, but with a huge ugly nose that has him question his ability to attract the beautiful Roxanne. He agrees to assist Christian, an extraordinarily handsome, young immature, clumsy, inept soldier in his brigade by wooing her with his words and ideas. He writes divinely tender letters, composes romantic poetry for Christian, expression which move Roxanne fall in love with Christian.

J. Anthony Crane as Cryano is immersed in this difficult role. He is in just about every scene and his swordsmanship is realistic. (He trained with fight director Jonathan Rider for the role.) His handling of 100 attackers in one scene with his swordsmanship is well done.

His accompanying cast of nine who play multiple roles are for the most part TheatreWorks pros and deliver fine performances. Each character develops and touches the audience with excellent timing and believability.

The play is adroitly directed by Robert Kelly, whose attention to detail is obvious. Combining Joe Ragey’s wonderful less-is-more scenery with Pamila Z. Gray’s subtle lighting and Fumiko Bielefeldt’s period costumes gives the viewers a wondedrful feel for the time and place.

Cyrano is prime entertainment. Go and have an evening or afternoon of enjoyable, touching humor and experience theatre at its best.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents ‘Cyrano’

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

500 Castro St., Mountain View

Performances through: May 1

Running time: 2 hours and 40 minutes – with one intermission

Tickets: $19.-$80

Reservations and information: (650) 463-1960 nor visit www.theatreworks.org

Camille Bounds is the theatre columnist for The Morgan Hill Times and The Gilroy Dispatch. Contact her at [email protected]
 

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