Friday, December 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

With ‘Cyrano,’ it’s all in the words

Roxane (Frances Devanbu) weeps as Christian (Nick Mead) lies dying in her lap while Cyrano (Antonio de Loera-Brust) looks on in the Acme Theatre Company production of "Cyrano," continuing through Sunday. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A9 | January 10, 2012 |

Details

What: Acme Theatre Company’s production of ‘Cyrano’

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St.

Tickets: $12 general, $10 for seniors and $8 for students

Info: Visit www.acmetheatre.net

In her notes to the new Acme production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand, director Emily Henderson writes, “This play has a lot of words.” She said a mouthful.

It is unfortunate, then, that so many of those words were unheard by the audience. A perennial problem with Acme is the inability of actors in lesser roles to speak clearly and to project, which seems such a shame since they have obviously worked so hard at learning lines and creating characters.

This is, fortunately, not a problem for the actors in the principal roles, though it does leave gaps in plot points when you can’t hear the set-up lines.

This adaptation of the Rostand classic, by Barry Kornhauser, written entirely in verse, lends itself to a lot of slapstick comedy, terrible (meaning “wonderful”) puns, and plenty of swashbuckling, all blended with great nobility and a tragic love story.

The play is fictionalized account, based on a real 17th century French writer and playwright notorious for his many duels and escapades as well as a famous nose.

Antonio de Loera-Brust, in the title role, is dashing and funny and romantic and poignant all at once, a man who can take on any man in a fight, a wit as sharp as his sword, but who is too ashamed of his physical appearance to confess his love for Roxanne. It’s a wonderful performance, deserving of the standing ovation he received at the end.

If I have any negative comment at all, it is not for the actor, but for whoever did his make-up. Please, a little more color on the tip of his nose which, in the performance, glowed white in the stage lights and is a distraction from his acting.

While Cyrano hides his love for the beautiful Roxane (Frances Devanbu), she has her sights set on Christian de Neuvilette (Nick Mead), handsome and earnest, but verbally challenged — he cannot find the words to express his feelings. He turns to his friend Cyrano, who provides the words which win Roxane’s heart and thus becomes a principal player in perhaps the move famous love triangle in literary history.

Devanbu is a lovely Roxane, as sincere in her love of Christian as she is later as she realizes the true identity of the man who won her heart so many years ago, with his beautiful words.

Mead is the perfect clueless jock, a hero among his fellow Cadets of Gascony, but unable to understand the heart of a woman. His early demise is fortunate for it certainly would have been a tremendous let-down for Roxane to realize that he never had the words of a poet.

Alex Clubb is effectively menacing as the Comte de Guiche, determined to marry Roxane and duped by the wiley Cyrano until the bride’s marriage to Christian has taken place.

Raphael Gorga is particularly noteworthy as Ragueneau, the baker. He has a knack for physical comedy and puts it to good use in this role.

Miki Benson plays several roles (as do many others in the cast) and I very much appreciated her clarity of tone without appearing forced. No matter what her role, she could always be understood and she did an excellent job in each role.

Mead was the set designer for this production, a rather utilitarian multi-level set that left lots of room for swordplay, and the fighting, choreographed by Dan Renkin, was excellent. One thing about Acme is that its young actors really have mastered swordplay, since so many of the company’s productions use it!

Costumes were designed by Henderson, with hair design by Hannah Nielson.

“Cyrano de Bergerac” is a fun evening of theater, with plenty of action to entertain younger members of the audience, and a solid story to satisfy the adults. If the actors in the minor roles could crank their volume up a bit, this really would be quite an extraordinary production.

Comments

comments

.

News

Exchange students bring the world to Davis

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Pastor has many plans for CA House

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Transit survey: 47 percent ride bikes to UCD campus

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Playing Santa

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Goats help recycle Christmas trees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woodland-Davis commute bus service expands

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Learn fruit tree tips at free class

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Bike Club hears about British cycling tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Pick up a Davis map at Chamber office

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Special holiday gifts

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A3

 
Explorit: Get a rise out of science

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

NAMI meeting offers family support

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Yoga, chanting intro offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Blamed for her sister’s rage

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
How much for the calling birds?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Many ensured a successful parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Thanks for putting food on the table

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Steve Sack cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
.

Sports

 
Two more for the road for 9-1 Aggie men

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Patterson is college football’s top coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Clippers get a win over Golden State

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

NBA roundup: Heat beat Cavs in LeBron’s return to Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Unbroken': A bit underwhelming

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Folk musicians will jam on Jan. 2

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Passat: Roomy, affordable sedan with German engineering

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

James J. Dunning Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Floyd W. Fenocchio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, December 26, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7

 
Comics: Thursday, December 26, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: A9