A Nose for Drama



A new production at The Players Centre for Performing Arts aims to update Edmond Rostand’s classic Cyrano de Bergerac by transporting the action from seventeenth-century France to a modern-day burger joint. Opening on July 13th as part of The Players’ 2016 Summer Sizzler Series, Cyrano de BurgerShack features modern pop music and is rounded out by a cast of local youth actors.  

Penned by Edmond Rostand in 1897, Cyrano de Bergerac tells a fictionalized account of Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac’s life in the 17th century, portrayed as a highly talented duelist and writer whose self-consciousness about his large nose prevents him from acting upon his love for his cousin Roxane. Helplessly smitten, Cyrano is able to secretly express his affections by writing letters to Roxane that are then signed by her suitor Christian.

The updated versionadapted from Rostand’s original by Jeremy Desmonkeeps the nose, but dispenses with the 17th-century setting: Cyrano de BurgerShack follows the exploits of teenage Cyrano, king of after-school hangout The BurgerShack. Much like his French counterpart, this Cyrano finds himself besotted with a lovely ladyhis best friend, Roxane—but feels held back by his supersized schnoz. Instead of pursuing Roxane himself, Cyrano acts as Cupid for Christian, the ‘Shack’s newest burger-flipper and Roxane’s crush.

Billed as a “pop musical,” Desmon’s take features a soundtrack composed of Top-40 tunes by artists such as Katy Perry and Adele along with ‘80s hits by Madonna and The Bangles. “Stories that touch your heart are universal,” says The Players Artistic Director Jeffery Kin. Kin believes that rather than detracting from the Rostand’s original, BurgerShack is enhanced by its modern updates (smartphones are said to be crucial plot points). “Stories of self-discovery and accepting us for who we are and what we look like sometimes become more valid as technology advances,” he says. “There are themes here that work for any era, but especially now [the modernization] only enhances the story.”

Cyrano de BurgerShack at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, July 13th–24th

Pictured: The cast of "Cyrano de BurgerShack." Photo courtesy of The Players Centre for Performing Arts.

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-365-2494.

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