Off-Broadway Shows


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Cyrano de Bergerac

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Words, words, words. They show up in verse, rap and prose, written in calligraphy on huge walls, and penned in unseen (though not always unspoken) letters in Martin Crimp’s stirring new adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s 19th-century classic drama “Cyrano de Bergerac,” now at the BAM Harvey Theater, starring the brilliant James McAvoy in the title role.

The production, clearly not meant for purists, has been directed in a kind-of-anything goes style by Jamie Lloyd, with a touch of homoeroticism here, a bit of ultra-feminist reclamation there – the baker Ragenau is played by the fabulous Michele Austin -- and tons of modern dress (and even a bit of male undress) everywhere.

While some of Lloyd’s touches can feel distracting or unnecessary, it often doesn’t matter as the three-hour work moves swiftly, thanks to the hyper-powered performance by the outstanding McAvoy (best known for his work in the “X-Men” films) as our titular hero, perfectly complemented by the equally impressive (if lesser-known) Evelyn Miller as the fiercest, smartest Roxanne I’ve ever encountered in many viewings of this play.

Eschewing the conventional prosthetic nose, McAvoy nonetheless conveys the spirit of a man who feels ugly and unloved, but who tries mightily – and not always wisely -- to utilize his intellect, bravado and deep love of language to try to overcome his most prominent obstacle.

In trying to prove himself worthy in every area of life, and especially of earning both Roxanne’s love and trust, Cyrano also succeeds in becoming a friend to her dim-witted beloved Christian (a puppyish Eben Figuerido), whom he initially despises, and a feared enemy of the spiteful, spineless Army officer DeGuiche (perfectly embodied by Tom Edden), who wants Roxanne for himself. This Cyrano is, as he should be, his own best champion and his own worst enemy.

At times, McAvoy speaks with torrential, incredibly impressive speed -- which coupled with his Scottish accent can cause audiences to miss a word here and there. Fortunately, the show shines most in its slowest moments, as McAvoy gorgeously, sometimes haltingly confesses Cyrano’s innermost thoughts and his (and Rostand’s) gift for verbal poetry.

As for his connection with Miller, their chemistry is, as we say in the 21st century, off-the-charts. There are no other words.

By Brian Scott Lipton

Visit the Site

James McAvoy (Cyrano de Bergerac) in the company are Michele Austin (Ragueneau), AdamBest (Le Bret), Sam Black (Armand), Nari Blair-Mangat(Valvert), Vaneeka Dadhria (Beatboxer), Adrian Der Gregorian (Montfleury), Tom Edden (De Guiche), Eben Figueiredo (Christian), Jon Furlong (Annoying Person), Tazmyn-May Gebbett(Minder), Carla Harrison-Hodge (Denise), Mika Onyx Johnson (Usher), Joseph Langdon (Jean-Paul), Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo (Marie-Louise), Evelyn Miller(Roxane), Nima Taleghani(Ligniere) and Brinsley Terence (Theatre Owner).

Open/Close Dates
Opening 4/14/2022
Closing 5/22/2022

Theatre Info
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
Brooklyn, NY 11217