Written by 6:33 am fullerton, Maverick Theatre, Review, Theater, Uncategorized

A Nose Above The Rest : Cyrano De Bergerac @ The Maverick Theatre in Fullerton – Review

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

An old French story about a skilled fighter with a big nose does not scream EXCITEMENT, yet the Maverick Theater takes this recycled material and makes it work. Cyrano de Bergerac may have a comedic covering, but inside, the story has an unexpectedly tender heart.

The story is not at all what I was expecting. Although familiar with the story of a young man with an extraordinarily long nose, I imagined that it would be mostly comedy stemming from crude jokes. I was wrong. The well-choreographed fights, the passionate feelings, the attention to detail–this show is the story of Quasimodo if Quasimodo was a complete badass with wit.  

Cyrano was a skilled member of the Gascon regiment in 1600s France during the Thirty Years’ War.   He is sharp of wit, fast of the sword, and ample of the nose. Very large of the nose. His nasal reputation and the vigor with which he repels mockery precede him (i.e., he beats the pie out of anyone who laughs at his face to face).   When his friend since childhood, Roxane, falls in love with a handsome recruit named Christian, Cyrano finally expresses his love to her by writing letters and allowing Christian to present them as his own. This can only end well. 

The choreography is delightful. The sword fights are well-paced and packed with enough action to make them look like actual sword fights and not just actors taking turns striking out at each other. All of the visual components of the play are strong and aesthetically pleasing. Now, a lot of background music is inserted into the majority of the scenes, giving a somewhat cinematic feel to the whole thing. Sometimes the music is awkward and distracting, but other times it works.   It mostly seems overused.

Leading man Nathan Makaryk (who also did the adaptation and direction of this piece) works wonders as Cyrano. He allows Cyrano’s careless attitude to shine through while still allowing the man to be likable, he is brave and sensitive, and every moment he speaks to his beloved Roxane is filled with tenderness. He and Jaycob Hunter (Christian) operate so well with one another as they work towards wooing their love. Why anyone in the world would ever fall in love with Roxane is a question poorly answered. It isn’t clear whether or not this indecision can be appropriately attributed to the show’s original writing or a lack of feeling in this character’s direction. Sadly, Roxane is not likable. It’s a strange dilemma and not overly frustrating, just mildly confusing.  

Cyrano de Bergerac is a fun-filled show with clever retorts, passionate speeches, and beautiful expressions of devotion.   Even if the characters get long-winded, this makes for a good night out.

February 27 – April 4, 2015



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