“Cyrano De Bergerac” now playing at Archway Theatre in the NoHo Arts District through June 11.
The Archway Theatre is a bit of a marvel really.
The artistic director Steven Sabel never ceases to amaze me with his challenging and gracefully selected plays and the passion with which he gathers his team of actors and production crew to give their absolute all in every conceivable way.
“Cyrano De Bergerac” is a beautiful and much reproduced play in various forms, most notably by Steve Martin in the lovely “Roxanne,” of course. But this sad and wonderful story about a man so beloved by everyone but himself, who falls in love with a woman he convinces himself he can never have, is quite the most heartbreaking and inspiring of plays.
Based on a real person, “Cyrano De Bergerac” is such a treasure of a play that to produce it without the reverence it deserves could be catastrophic. But the company at Archway have created a lovingly rendered and hugely successful version, full of vividly drawn characters, brilliantly choreographed scenes, and a production with a clear sense of direction, purpose and resolve.
The casting is really excellent. Our Cyrano is played with “panache” by the wonderful Christopher Karbo, a founding member of the company, with Emily Blokker-Dalquist as his Roxanne. Both are truly phenomenal. Such a perfect match in every way, their chemistry is palpable.
This is a truly brilliant production of this play.
They have held close to its lyrical and classical structure, but perform with such gusto and charm that the characters seem fresh and new and the story, one we all know so well, not at all old but authentic and real. From tavern to barracks, from nunnery to battleground, this sad story takes us and its actors on quite a ride and always with language for the ages.
“Cyrano De Bergerac” is a much-revered play with very good reason. Written by Edmund Rostand in 1897, the playwright found an exquisite way to honor a gentle and courageous man and a particular moment in the history of France with echos of Shakespeare and Voltairean verse.
I cannot encourage you enough to go and see the Archway production of “Cyrano De Bergerac.” The sheer joy the cast shows us in every scene is while sharing this gift of a story is pretty unforgettable. To be honest, this play is well worth the time just to watch what is probably the longest dying scene ever written for the stage…ever. Brilliant!
Everyone is absolutely wonderful, in roles both large and small. The costumes and sets are impeccable and totally right for every character, although I have come to expect this from Archway, they pay attention to every detail, always.
I love extolling the virtues of NoHo theatre, and I am never happier than sitting in the dark on a squeaky seat, fanning myself with a program and watching art unfurl before me for a couple of hours. Live theatre is the best…isn’t it…
“Cyrano De Bergerac”
10509 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, 91601
Fridays and Saturdays 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
May 13 – June 11
Written by Edmund Rostand
Directed by Steven Label
Cyrano De Bergerac – Christopher Karbo
Magdaleine Robin Roxanne – Emily Blokker-Dalquist
Christian De Neuvillette – Jesse Durant
Comte De Guiche – Paul Carpenter
Captain Le Bret – Jason DeWitt
Duenia – Faith Streng
Ragueneau – Adam David Green
Lize – Sydnee Ortiz
Cadet Brie – Nima Ghomeshi
Cadet Camembert – Durwyn Robinson
Cadet Roquefort – Chris Howe
Ligniere – Daniel Krause
Marques De Valvert – Andre Anderson
Montfleury – Charles E. White
Mother Superior/Marguerite – Dorrie Braum
Shop Girl/Sister Claire – Briana Lipps
Flower Girl/Sister Marthe – Morgan Zenith
Producing Artistic Director – Steven Sabel
Stage Managers – Thomas Velasquez, Yae Sol Jeong, Jennifer Hawkins
Technical Director – Steven Sabel
Set Design – John Eddings
Scenic Art – James Schendel
Costumer – Sarah Morris
Costumes – Sally Schaub, Mel Virgo, Etha
Speciality Makeup – Brandon Spear
Properties Mistress – Madeleine Heil
Fight Choreographer – Steven Sabel
Fight Captain – Christopher Karbo
House Manager – Annie Freeman
Graphic Artist – Madeleine Heil