WINDY CITY TIMES
||THEATER REVIEW Cyrano
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Mary Shen Barnidge
This article shared 868 times since Tue Feb 13, 2018
Playwright: Michael P. Dalberg
At: Theater Above the Law at Jarvis Square, 1349 W. Jarvis Ave. Tickets: $20. Runs through: March 4
What you need to know about Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac is that there are these two guysone is a smart, talented, sensitive, athletic rock star, but ugly ( or thinks he is ), and the other is a hunky airheadwho are both in love with the same girl. Since the brainy guy wants the girl to be happy, he helps the dummy woo her ( not being too bright, herself, she falls for it ). Famous scenes include a duel accompanied by a poem recital, an offstage one-against-a-crowd brawl, a list of insults, some hi-jinks in a bakery, and a three-way courtship under a balcony with both swains lobbing sweet nothings at the unwary object of their affections.
The only additional thing you need to know is that this 1897 swashbuckler ranks right alongside Lysistrata and The Duchess of Malfi as the classroom classic most likely to be reimagined/parodied/scavenged for its prognosticative relevance to current events in the 2018. Thus, Michael P. Dalberg's adaptation for Theater Above the Law proposes a lesbian Cyrano, enamored of het hottie Roxanne, but oblivious to the devotion of bestie Donna LeBret. Also crushing on Roxie are handsome hayseed Christian Prewitt and slimeball boss' son Armand Montfleury. Their attire is workshop Jacobean, the language is modern collegiate, the weapons restricted to pastry-shop confections and the Sapphic subtext barely referenced save by copious eye contactall contributing to an overall impression of a script removed from the oven half-bak'd ( as one of its characters might say ).
Coming up short of perfection after embarking on an undertaking as ambitious as a makeover of a five-act museum piece is no disgrace, though. When choosing to include discussions based in, say, 17th-century military protocol ( Cyrano and the men are soldiers, by the way ), or Roxanne's genealogical connections to her suitors, Dalberg may have overestimated the average storefront-circuit playgoer's familiarity with the source material, but under the lively direction of Tony Lawry, the agile ensemble delves their text for its rom-com elementsassisted by the playwright, himself, serving in the persona of the factotum Ligniere ( whose name is mocked in ingenious ways ). Some of the literary arrows may have misfired during this first-weekend performance, but Isabella Snow and Brittany Vogel endow Cyrano and Donna's camaraderie with sufficient romance to lend charm to its proverbial rocky road.
This article shared 868 times since Tue Feb 13, 2018
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Opera Preview: Life of gay World War II hero Alan Turing transformed into a world-premiere opera 2023-03-17|
- It has taken a decade for The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing to grow from an idea into a full- fledged opera. Chicago Opera Theater stages the world premiere of composer Justine F. Chen and ...
|Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project to present dance concert 'Sans Pareil' 2023-03-14|
--From a press release - Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project again to take the stage in a dance concert entitled Sans Pareil—French for "unparalleled," a nod to the Haitian lineage of Chicago's founder, Jean-Baptiste Pointe ...
|House Musical, Coming of Age in the Age of House, coming to Hoover-Leppen Theatre 2023-03-14|
--From a press release - Campsongs Productions presents the world premiere of House Musical - Coming of Age in the Age of House, with book by Marcus Waller, music by Scott Free (with Michael Foley) and lyrics by Scott Free and ...
|RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD in Chicago Aug. 4 2023-03-12|
--From a press release - RuPaul's Drag Race WERQ THE WORLD, the largest drag show on earth, returns in 2023 with a show in Chicago Aug. 4 and in 100+ cities across the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, Europe and Mexico! ...
|SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10|
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...
|Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2023 Gala May 13 at The Old Post Office 2023-03-06|
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 6, 2023) — The Steppenwolf Ensemble and Board of Trustees are pleased to host Steppenwolf 2023 Galaan unforgettable evening celebrating 47 years of powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. Emceed ...
|Center on Halsted presents annual Intergenerational Talent Show 2023-03-06|
- On March 2, Center on Halsted hosted its Fifth Annual Intergenerational Talent Show, featuring performances from participants from the Youth and Family Services and the Senior Services programs. Participants in the free event presented a program ...
|SHOWBIZ Wanda Sykes, Jonas Brothers, 'Queen of Versailles,' 'Bloodshed' 2023-03-04|
Adam Lambert video below - Award-winning comedian Wanda Sykes' new comedy special, I'm An Entertainer, will premiere globally on Netflix on May 23, a press release announced. The special, directed by Linda Mendoza, was filmed in early February 2023 at Philadelphia's ...
|Theater Review: one in two 2023-03-01|
- Playwright: Donja R. Love. At: PrideArts at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway Tickets: 773-857-0222; $35. Runs through March 19 Playwright Donja R. Love stresses that lower case letters should be used for the title of ...
|The Jeff Awards to honor Myrna Salazar with special non-Equity honor 2023-03-01|
--From a Jeff Awards press release - (March 1, 2023 - Chicago) — Recognizing a lifetime of theater excellence, the Joseph Jefferson Awards will honor the late arts activist Myrna Salazar at the organization's 49th Anniversary Non-Equity Awards celebration on Monday, March 2 ...
|PrideArts presents 'one in two' 2023-02-22|
--From a press release - Title: one in two. By Donja R. Love/ Directed by Jordan Ratlliff Monday, Feb. 20 - 7:30 p.m. Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago One in two Black men in America who have sex with other men will be diagnosed ...
|Christine Heesun Hwang personifies Eponine in Les Miserables 2023-02-19|
- Out performer Christine Heesun Hwang "dreamed a dream" of joining the cast one of Les Miserables—now showing at the Cadillac Palace Theater—and now she's made that dream into a reality. Set in 19th-century France, Les Miserables ...
|SHOWBIZ Black queer films, Janet Jackson, Paramore, WNBA, GALECA contest 2023-02-19|
- Queerty ran a piece on 10 films that celebrate Black queer love. Some of them include The Skinny (with Jussie Smollett), Dee Rees' movie Pariah, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, the Marlon Riggs classic Tongues Untied, Brother to ...
|Theater Review: Cabaret continues to reflect on our modern challenges 2023-02-14|
- Title: Cabaret. Book: Joe Masteroff; Score: John Kander & Fred Ebb. At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: 773-777-9884 or www.PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; prices begin at $25. Runs through ...
|SHOWBIZ Isaac Mizrahi, Viola Davis, Laura Jane Grace, Elton John, GLAAD 2023-02-11|
- On Sherri Shepherd's talk show, entertainer/fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi said he'd love for out actor Dan Levy to portray him in a potential biopic based on Mizrahi's memoir, I.M., The Wrap noted. "Dan Levy, OK," Mizrahi ...