MTC Mainstage (Venue 1), to Friday
Whatever happened to the one-hour fringe production? This year, there’s an epidemic of shows that run 75 or 90 minutes and cry out for tightening. This puppet play from Edmonton, billed at 90 minutes and even running a bit overtime, is one of them.
Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is a towering stage classic, but an adaptation carried by puppets in a large theatre that lacks intimacy — with rather long pauses to change scenes — becomes an endurance test.
Brittany Hunter affects a sweet, unvarying, princess-y voice for Roxane and sounds utterly female when she handles smaller male roles. The men who play ugly but poetic Cyrano and his handsome but inarticulate friend Christian are stronger, but one has to work extremely hard to ignore the three puppeteers’ always-in-view faces.
The story is, of course, brilliant, witty, inspiring and moving. When poignant music underscores Cyrano’s most ardent romantic speeches, the show transcends its limitations and touches the heart.
— Alison Mayes
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Cyrano, the greatest swordsman and poet in all of France, falls deeply in love with the intelligent and cultured Roxanne, but cannot tell her, fearing she will reject him because of his enormous nose.
A touching story about honesty, selflessness and self-worth, based on the classic play by Rostand.
Recommended For: General Audience
Length: 90 MIN
Warnings: Not recommended for children under 12.