CYRANO (The New Group) Previews

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NYfanfromCA
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#1
Posted: 10/12/19 at 1:09am

Previews for Cyrano at the Daryl Roth Theatre began on Friday, October 11, 2019.  This new musical, originally scheduled to close on November 24, has been extended to December 22, 2019.

From The New Group website:  With a charged contemporary immediacy to the language, this adaptation by Erica Schmidt (All the Fine Boys) mines this enduring, human story for its deep vein of heartbroken yearning, with haunting and compelling music by members of the Grammy Award-winning band The National and the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Peter Dinklage in the title role.

Who's going?  I'm excited to hear first impressions since I hope to see it next week!

Updated On: 10/12/19 at 01:09 AM
rg7759
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#2
Posted: 10/13/19 at 2:27pm
Very disappointing that there aren't already a slew of reactions.
greenifyme2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#3
Posted: 10/13/19 at 7:31pm

I don't usually post anymore due to past reactions of my opinions but I'll go against my better judgement and bite on this since I saw this last night and enjoyed it.

Bullet points:

-The fundamentals are weak but I was able to forgive them because the acting was so superb and I was very moved despite the poor singing, rudimentary sets and choreography.

-Thought the instrumental music was absolutely beautiful (more like a movie score than a musical) and was on the verge of tears throughout the entire first half. I hope we get a purely instrumental 2-hour recording out of this. 

-Peter captivated me. It wasn't until the show was over that I realized I wasn't looking at him as Tyrion or any of the other characters I've seen him play. He embodied Cyrano and I hung on every word. I thought his inability to sing well (although he was better than I expected) actually added to the role. If he was a beautiful vocalist it would have been harder to believe he was so much less "attractive". On the positive side, he hit a few very lovely low baritone notes. 

-I expect that general people are going to rip this apart. For a show of this caliper of talent, I think the expectations are pretty high. But it really struck a chord with me and I loved it despite it's flaws. I'd love to go back once they tighten up some things (although I expect that won't fix the singing). 

 

 

AllThatJazz2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#4
Posted: 10/13/19 at 11:18pm
I was there for the first performance. I agree with the previous poster that Peter Dinklage acts the hell out of the part, and the instrumentals are lovely. This would have made an excellent play - however, as a musical, it’s kind of a mess. The lyrics aren’t great, the vocal abilities of the cast are widely varied (Jasmine is a standout, but you can see areas where Peter struggles with the notes), and the song styles themselves are disjointed and don’t really flow.

I really, REALLY wanted to love this, and walked away just liking it, and that’s mainly because of the strength of the performers, rather than the piece itself, which I found lacking in the end. I don’t think it’s a waste to see it, but at the current price points, I also hesitate to recommend it. Most people will be going to this to see Peter on stage, and if the focus is on that, and his acting in particular rather than his singing, I don’t think they’ll be disappointed with that.
HSky
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#5
Posted: 10/15/19 at 1:57pm
I'm going tonight - what was the approximate running time for the show?
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Synecdoche2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#6
Posted: 10/15/19 at 2:00pm

Gee, I wonder why it might have made a good play. (Glares in Rostand)

AllThatJazz2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#7
Posted: 10/15/19 at 3:41pm

Synecdoche2 said: "Gee, I wonder why it might have made a good play. (Glares in Rostand)"

If that comment was directed at my post, I'm well aware of the origin of the play. What I meant was that turning Cyrano into a musical for this particular production was unnecessary - if anything, it hampers the material. 

AllThatJazz2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#8
Posted: 10/15/19 at 3:44pm

HSky said: "I'm going tonight - what was the approximate running time for the show?"

The show has a run time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, including intermission. IIRC it ran a little over the night I was there, but not by much. 

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Someone in a Tree2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#9
Posted: 10/15/19 at 4:05pm

This isn't the same Cyrano musical as the 1970's Bway musical starring Christopher Plummer, is it? That had an ok score, and I was always surprised it never got a revival.

 

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Synecdoche2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#10
Posted: 10/15/19 at 4:12pm

AllThatJazz2 said: "Synecdoche2 said: "Gee, I wonder why it might have made a goodplay. (Glares in Rostand)"

If that comment was directed at my post, I'm well aware of the origin of the play. What Imeant was that turning Cyrano into a musical for this particular productionwas unnecessary - if anything, it hampers the material.
"

I was glaring at the authors, who are trying the 10th? 11th? failed Cyrano musical.

JSquared2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#11
Posted: 10/15/19 at 5:51pm

Synecdoche2 said: "AllThatJazz2 said: "Synecdoche2 said: "Gee, I wonder why it might have made a goodplay. (Glares in Rostand)"

If that comment was directed at my post, I'm well aware of the origin of the play. What Imeant was that turning Cyrano into a musical for this particular productionwas unnecessary - if anything, it hampers the material.
"

I was glaring at the authors, who are trying the 10th? 11th? failed Cyrano musical.
"

 

If you spent your time at the show glaring at the authors, then how would you know if the show was good or bad?  What did you mean to accomplish by glaring at them?

 

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ggersten
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#12
Posted: 10/15/19 at 7:02pm

Someone in a Tree2 said: "This isn't the same Cyrano musical as the 1970's Bway musicalstarring Christopher Plummer, is it? That had an ok score, and I was always surprised it never got a revival."

 

It is not the same musical.as the 1973 version with Plummer.. That had a book and lyrics by Anthony Burgess and music by Michael Lewis. Burgess had made an earlier translation. 

 

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GeorgeandDot
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#13
Posted: 10/15/19 at 7:18pm

Not the best translation of this great play. Peter Dinklage is great. The sets and actual space leave a lot to be desired. It doesn't work as a musical and Jasmine is woefully miscast. I remember Cyrano being a brilliant tragicomedy and this production has sucked a lot of the comedy out and streamlined it so much that most of the characters are left as flat as cardboard. I'd love to see Dinklage in a different production.

Updated On: 10/15/19 at 07:18 PM
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#14
Posted: 10/15/19 at 8:15pm

Glad to hear Dinklage is good in this. I really enjoyed seeing him in A Month in the Country a few years back. Though interestingly, I thought he was somewhat overshadowed by his stage partner, Taylor Schilling (who I found to be utterly captivating onstage, even though I don't much care for her on Orange is the New Black). I look forward to seeing a show that really acts as vehicle to display his acting skill (If I can manage to get an affordable ticket, that is!)

Now that Game of Thrones is over, I hope we end up seeing a lot of him on the New York stage. There are so many stage roles that he could really knock out of the park. 

 

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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#15
Posted: 10/15/19 at 9:19pm

I never understand comments like Synecdoche2's here. Who cares how many people tried? If one succeeds, that is a reason to be thrilled. (I have not yet seen this one, but will shortly, and look forward to it.) Dinklage is obviously the draw here, but I'm hoping I feel the music works better than some folks have so far.

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GeorgeandDot
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#16
Posted: 10/15/19 at 9:25pm

JBroadway said: "Glad to hear Dinklage is good in this. I really enjoyed seeing him in A Month in the Country a few years back. Though interestingly, I thought he was somewhat overshadowed by his stage partner, Taylor Schilling (who I found to be utterly captivating onstage, even though I don't much care for her on Orange is the New Black). I look forward to seeing a show that really acts as vehicle to display his acting skill (If I can manage to get an affordable ticket, that is!)

Now that Game of Thrones is over, I hope we end up seeing a lot of him on the New York stage. There are so many stage roles that he could really knock out of the park.
"

Really wish he could've lead My Fair Lady at LCT.  He'd make a great Higgins.

 

HSky
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#17
Posted: 10/16/19 at 10:31am
I agree with the comments above. I also had hopes for this show, but it doesn't feel polished. The music was a mixed bag. Cyrano's first song was an awkward rap that kept lending itself to unflattering comparisons with "Alexander Hamilton" in my mind and it didn't fit stylistically with anything else Peter Dinklage sang. There were also some rhymes in the final song (no song titles in the playbill) that sounded like an exercise flipping through a rhyming dictionary.

I did enjoy the underscoring, which reminded me a bit of how Imogen Heap's music enhances HPCC, but the structure felt more like a play with music most of the time with an occasional break into song.

The ensemble also seemed under utilized in song, with most of Act 1 only being the three leads singing. Two of my favorite songs came in Act 2 when they were finally all on stage together as the guards at war. There was a company morale song followed by my favorite song when the men were singing about writing letters to the ones they loved back home, which was also my favorite part visually. If only the rest of the show could capture the same sense of drama and progression as the war segment.

I did really enjoy Peter Dinklage as Cyrano but never quite felt the connection to his character via the music compared to his acting in the rest of the show, and I think that's more about the way the show is written.

I'm going again in a few weeks and am curious to see what changes.
greenifyme2
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#18
Posted: 10/16/19 at 10:43am
Has anyone won the lotto yet? Where were the seats?
millieliz
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#19
Posted: 10/16/19 at 11:50pm

I won the lotto tonight. I was a single ticket, first row, left side on the center aisle. Sight lines were not great and I wasn't even all the way to the side, but a couple actors do sit at the far end of the row if you're into that sort of thing...!

sm33
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#20
Posted: 10/17/19 at 1:05am

Saw this tonight, and it was a miss for us. 

Things we liked: Peter Dinklage's performance (aside from the singing, which was not good, especially compared to the vocals of the rest of the cast). I loved the mini-Great Comet cast reunion of Grace McLean and Scott Stangland, and I actually liked the set, even if it was a bit spare. 

But we had a lot of issues with the rest. I love The National's music in general, but this was all pretty forgettable and didn't showcase the voices of the people who could sing well. The instrumentals sounded pleasant, but the songs with lyrics didn't convey Cyrano's poetic skill in any meaningful way. The choreography was repetitive and even distracting at times - the entire ensemble was doing slow-motion activities for no obvious reason that had me focusing on them instead of the person singing on several occasions. 

There were a few minor technical issues - mics not coming up at the right time, a few flubbed lines, and a prop thrown off stage that bounced back on stage, causing a chain reaction of giggles in my section. 

All of my issues with the show made it really hard to connect with the characters or care about how it ended, which is a shame. This was our first time seeing any production of Cyrano, and I can tell it's a play I'd probably really like if done well.

A note on seating - avoid E11 and E13 at all costs if you're not a slender person. The seats are all just chairs on risers, and look pretty similar at first glance. But they are ziptied in place, and E11 and E13 were at the far end of the left orchestra, with E13 smack up against a high metal railing. Sitting in that seat, there is nowhere for the left side of your upper body to go, and the railing is too high to rest your arm, so you unavoidably end up in the space of the seat next to you, which is E11. As we left, we could see the seats in other rows looked better spaced out, so I don't think it's a theaterwide issue. 

Natasha22
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#21
Posted: 10/17/19 at 1:24pm
I won the lotto last night. My seats were row F dead center - fantastic!
The show felt sort of amateurish at times, like a good high school production. I liked most of the music and loved some of it (especially in the second act) but Peter Dinklage’s not great singing really stood out in a bad way.
The show was fine but overall I’m glad I only paid $35. If you want to get spendy on off-broadway, go for Little Shop!
rg7759
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#22
Posted: 10/21/19 at 4:17pm
I thought Peter nailed it. Maybe over this week his singing improved. I thought his extremely unique sound worked perfectly. I also loved the score, but I won't deny that certain moments did remind me of alice by heart and that Joan of arc show (the former I liked). But there were clearly a huge divide between people there for Peter who loved it and dying new group patrons who...not so much
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#23
Posted: 10/21/19 at 4:22pm

Any merchandise?

InTheBathroom1
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#24
Posted: 10/23/19 at 10:23am

Saw this last night and thought it was not great.  The instrumental music and choreography were both fantastic and I liked the simplicity of the physical production.  However, I thought the book and direction felt both very amateurish and I thought it felt very miscast.  I think I'm in the minority here but I didn't enjoy Dinklage's performance except for the last scene.  I thought the ensemble did a great job though and I was thoroughly impressed with the movement of the piece.  Rick and Jeff Kuperman prove again that they can make the most of bad material.  There was a scene in a bakery and I thought the movement of the ensemble in this bit was so interesting and beautiful,  But you have a problem when your "background" movement is more interesting than anything your main actors are doing.  The chairs in this theatre are just banquet chairs and are super uncomfortable as well. Bring a seat cushion if you go. 

Updated On: 10/23/19 at 10:23 AM
criostal
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CYRANO (The New Group) Previews#25
Posted: 10/27/19 at 3:24pm

Recently saw this and liked it overall (as opposed to love), probably because I went in with no expectations and viewed it as a work in progress. Music was OK, although I can’t remember any of the songs specifically. I thought the acting was superb across the board even if a couple of roles were somewhat miscast. The intimate setting of the Darryl Roth made me admire Dinklage’s acting all the more since all of his facial expressions (from comical to pained) were plain to see.

I agree with some of the above reviews that the best sequences were the simple choreography of the bakery (reprised a bit in a Act 2 at the Convent) and the battle songs. The acoustics are fantastic since every word was crystal clear.

I think the show has been a bit tightened since the first preview since Peter’s voice was better than I expected, it ran a little under the reported running time, and I was told a sword fight was cut.

My main criticisms would be that the music is pretty repetitive, the obvious quality of the supporting voices are under-utilized, and the anachronism of the period was a bit confusing and distracting. The story is set a few centuries ago in France, but uniforms are Civil War-esque to go with a song about The South, and some of the expressions could have come straight out of a Millenial’s mouth.

Overall, Cyrano was worth seeing for its talented cast, a few brilliant moments, and no total misses in between.

Updated On: 10/27/19 at 03:24 PM

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