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BWW Previews: CYRANO DE BERGERAC at Palm Canyon Theatre

A Modern Telling of the French Classic Brings, Laughs, Thrills and Romance

Palm Canyon Theatre (PCT) is presenting Cyrano de Bergerac, the classic French story of "unrequited" love. Under the guidance of PCT founder Dr. William Layne, the nineteenth century work is presented with a modern translation with lots of comedy, sword play, and of course the heart-wrenching drama of a man whose looks prohibit him from pursuing the woman his heart longs for.

Set in 1640 Paris, Edmond Rostand's romantic drama tells the story of a gifted poet and swordsman who has doubts and insecurities about his own romantic prowess. Despite possessing many talents and a brilliant mind, the size of Cyrano's nose has him believing that he is not worthy of love, and he is therefor unable to profess his love to the beautiful and intelligent Roxanne. Meanwhile, the Baron Christian de Neuvillete, whose handsome face compensates for his lack of wit and intellect, sets out to win the heart of Roxanne. Cyrano's lack of confidence prompts him to instead help Christian court Roxanne by wooing her with his own words as though they were written by Christian, even though they were written by Cyrano himself.

Cyrano is played by Michael Pacas, probably the Valley's most popular leading man. Cyrano easily has at least 70% of all the words spoken in the play, and Pacas came to the first rehearsal with the script memorized, setting the bar very high for the rest of the cast. Katrina Dixon plays the Lady Roxanne, and Cameron Keys is the handsome-but-vacuous Christian. They are joined by 20 local actors, many of them familiar faces to Valley audiences. The sword fights have taken dozens of hours of rehearsal, starting in slow motion and gradually building up speed. The results are thrilling.

J. W. Layne's set has an appropriate balcony and upper level, with Derik Shopinski's costumes accurately setting the 17th century period, but the translation from the French is very easy for the audience to follow, and features a number of belly laughs interspersed with the classic lovers' angst.

Cyrano de Bergerac runs for four nights only, March 31 through April 3, 2022. Show times are 7 p.m. on Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $29.50, with a special rate of $15 for students. In fact, if you have PG-aged kids or grandkids, this would be an excellent production to treat them to; a classic that isn't at all stuffy.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or other information, call the PCT Box Office at (760)323-5123 or order online at Palm Canyon Theatre is located at 538 North Palm Canyon Drive, at the corner of Alejo Road and Palm Canyon Drive. Box Office hours are currently Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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From This Author - Stan Jenson