Rutgers Theater Company presents Edmund Rostand’s "Cyrano de Bergerac" November 15-24

Good old-fashioned romance is rhyming, swashbuckling, and sword fighting its way to the stage of the Philip J. Levin Theater in Rutgers Theater Company’s Cyrano de Bergerac, running from Friday, November 15, through Sunday, November 24, 2013.

Passion and chivalry are alive and kicking thanks to Cyrano de Bergerac—he’s poetic, charming, brave, and protective, and he’s in hot pursuit of his smart and beautiful cousin Roxane. Just don’t mention his rather impressive nose, lest you meet the sharp end of Cyrano’s sword.

“This is one of the best male roles out there,” says Gabriel Barre, the Tony-nominated director of the play who also stars in the title role. “It’s hard not to have a good time with it.”

Of course there must be unrequited love and character mix-ups in any good romantic tale: Cyrano has some competition in handsome but dim-witted Christian, who uses Cyrano as his ghostwriter of love letters to try to win Roxane’s heart.

Although Cyrano is set in 17th-century France during the age of Louis XIII, Barre says the play’s “humble approach to storytelling” is both “poignant and timeless.”

Barre chose the Anthony Burgess translation of the 1897 French play for its clever and humorous rhymed verses and its “rich and beautiful imagery.” It became the basis for the 1990 film starring Gérard Depardieu.

The performance piles on the romance with a live musical score, performed by actor-musicians, which adds a “beautiful layer,” says Barre.

And what’s a good love story without a fight scene or two? Under the direction of award-winning Broadway fight director Rick Sordelet, Cyrano’s sword-fighting scenes keep things from getting too lovey-dovey. Tony Award-winning lighting designer Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher) joins the company to lead the design team.

“This is theater of the senses,” says Barre. “There’s so much for audiences to experience.”

Who will triumph in the end and win Roxane’s heart? Only the nose knows.

Cyrano de Bergerac runs from Friday, November 15, through Sunday, November 24, 2013, at the Philip J. Levin Theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors, and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Philip J. Levin Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, click here or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 848-932-7511.

Posted October 2013.