Last night I saw Swift Creek Mill Playhouse’s production of Cyrano with two friends from Charlottesville and we were all mystified by the strange uneven-ness of the melodrama of comedia del arte and realism that ensued. We were all three simultaneously confused and amused at the attempt to overplay a beautiful tragedy with such silliness and felt that it, particularly cheapened the portrayal of Roxanne, the pivotal character of the play.
And then there were the wigs. Seemingly borrowed from various productions and plopped on the heads of the male actors, one looked like it was borrowed from the set of Gigit with bangs and Dippity Do flip in tact.
Things that were great about the play: Deborah Wagoner (Duenna/Nun), Jeff Clevenger (Ligniere/Cadet Vadim/Monk) and Dean Knight’s (multiple roles) performances, Joe Doran’s lighting design and Frank Foster’s set. Despite the problems with the production I was honestly entertained.
Gratitude to the Mill for dedicating the show to the late Andy Boothby who was slated to play the title role and died just before rehearsals were slated to begin.
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Go because it is a classic (though I disliked this version of the translation).