When I found out The Arden Theatre Company was going to be doing “Cyrano” as part of their 2011/2012 season, I may have actually squealed a little. You see, “Cyrano de Bergerac” is my all time favorite play. Not one of my favorite plays mind you. My favorite of all time. Perhaps this is why I initially got a bit nervous when I saw press releases stating that the Arden’s production would be featuring a brand new translation of the play.
For those who may not be aware, “Cyrano” is a classic French piece that involves a great deal of word play. Perhaps for this reason, there was really only one English translation used for stage adaptions of the story between the 1920s and the 1980s.
Michael Hollinger is the gentleman who did the translating for this upcoming production, and the Arden has done a good job of assuaging my initial fears. It seems Mr. Hollinger has premiered seven plays at the Arden, three of which won Barrymore Awards. He’s also fluent in French. “My goal,” he said, “was to release the energies of the play and make it feel immediate and accessible to a contemporary American audience.”
Okay Hollinger. I’m going to trust you with my all time favorite play. If the Arden has faith in you, I will too.
The cast includes Eric Hissom, Jessica Cummings, Luigi Sottile, Scott Greer (who is so awesome that you should just come see the play because he’s in it, if for no other reason), David Bardeen, Ben Lloyd, Doug Hara, Justin Jain, and Keith Randolph Smith.
“Cyrano” previews will begin on Thursday, March 8, and run through March 13. Opening night is set for 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. The closing date for “Cyrano” is set for April 15, 2012. Ticket prices range from $29- $45, and there are discounts available for seniors, students, military and educators. Call the Arden Box Office at 215-922-1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.
“And tonight when I, at last, God behold, my salute will sweep his blue threshhold with something spotless. A diamond in the ash which I take in spite of you; and that is my panache.” – Cyrano