Sachs and director Simon Levy have embarked on a major mission: bringing Rostand’s poetry-spewing protagonist to life using ASL, spoken word, and e-language. Thanks to Jeffrey Elias Teeter’s projections, flashed onto eight omnipresent monitors incorporated into Jeff McLaughlin’s versatile bare-bones set, nothing is lost in this superbly crafted production besides a large tub of Derma Wax.
Travis Michael Holder – Backstage
I can’t rave enough to adequately convey my excitement and admiration for the new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac that opened this week at the Fountain Theatre.
Cynthia Citron – LA Examiner
The very best Deaf West productions (Big River clearly among them) are those in which the use of ASL and simultaneous interpretation adds something to the original play. In this, a co-production with the Fountain, the additions are nothing short of amazing.
Sharon Perlmutter – Talkin’ Broadway
The few arguable limitations here lie in adhering a bit too faithfully to some creakier aspects of Rostand’s original (particularly the opening brawling sequence), but the performances quickly catch fire in Simon Levy’s well-paced and precisely focused staging. Besides offering a refreshing take on a classic, the signed/spoken presentation offers hearing folks the opportunity to appreciate sign language’s unique emotional expressiveness.
Philip Brandes – LA Times
Sachs’ treatment of the story teeters into sentimentality, a minor impediment to the production’s glorious swirl of words floating around the stage, sometimes connected, sometimes disembodied from the speakers uttering them, sometimes signed, sometimes broadcast via video screens.
Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly
Although certain details of character and the plot have changed, the original heart of the play still beats steadfastly, buoyed up by terrific performances and dazzling video design.
Terry Morgan – LAist
The romantic, tragi-comic Cyrano offers excellent performances and direction, deaf culture from an insider’s perspective, poetic dialogue, and aesthetically gorgeous signed language.
Mialka Bondadonna – LifeInLA
Aside from the “message,” it’s a great rollicking evening of theater. And a must for anyone like me who has not been involved with “signing” and the remarkable Deaf West theater.
Clare Elfman – Buzzine
Until the play actually begins on the intimate Fountain stage, people can’t possibly imagine what a powerhouse piece of theater is about to unfold.
Shirle Gottlieb – Stagehappenings
This new production, an adaptation by Stephen Sachs of Edmund Rostand’s 1897 über-romantic drama, is quite the theatrical experience. A co-production of the gifted Fountain Theatre and the esteemed Deaf West Theatre, this is an extraordinary production of a terrific play, both of which deserve a long life here and a longer life abroad.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings
Cyrano is a treat for both the eyes and hear. Hearing or deaf, the impact of this story has never been never been louder or more touching.
Robert Lilly – Stagehappenings
Yes, it’s a great idea and a commendable attempt, with a stunning and marvelous central performance by deaf actor Troy Kotsur. There are indeed some lovely moments of humor and pathos, with some fascinating insights into modern technology and communication, but the enterprise, as a whole, left a bad taste in my mouth.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema
This all takes place in LA in the 21st century, and it’s one of the most ingenious updates of a classic I’ve seen in a long time.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch
I’m going to gush for a moment. This was freakin’ awesome.
Phillip Kelly – MadTheatrics
Troy Kotsur is perfection as the title character in Stephen Sachs’ new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s a bravura performance, full of passion, integrity, and enough kinetic energy to power a city. That Kotsur is deaf has everything and nothing to do with it.
Samuel Bernstein – EyeSpyLA
The premise remains the same, but this new interpretation by Stephen Sachs and conceived by Fountain and the Deaf West Theatre takes the story to a new level.
Marilyn Tower Oliver – Los Feliz Ledger
Stephen Sachs’ “Cyrano” cuts deeper, exploring the nature of being deaf — and in a larger sense, being just plain different — in a majority culture. Simon Levy’s Fountain Theater world premiere co-production isn’t seamless but hits a nerve, and buzz is proving an irresistible magnet to the L.A. theater community, making for sellout biz.
Bob Verini – Variety
Some of the scenes run long, while others could be slightly better realized, but overall it was a solid effort that’s worth seeing.
Dan Johnson – CineSnatch
Presented by the Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre
At the Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Ave., L.A.
EXTENDED THROUGH JULY 8, 2012; Thu.–Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.
Tickets: (323) 663-1525; $30-$34
Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.