PCS Blog

“Cyrano” and Its Modern Day Adaptations

Posted by Lindsay Pfeifer | 16 April 2015

The story of Cyrano is timeless - boy wants girl, girl wants other boy, boy wins over girl. With added twists like his extremely large nose and poetic soul, the character Cyrano is easy to love, which makes the play easy to adapt to reach wider audiences. Which is why there are many modern-day adaptations, both successful and not. We've put together a collection of fun Cyrano adaptations that you may or may not have heard of. Burger Shack, anyone?

The most well-known adaptation of Cyrano is Steve Martin's popular film, Roxanne. 'Cyrano' turns into 'Charlie' while 'Roxanne' remains the same. In this modern-day adaptation, Charlie is a fire chief in a small Washington town with a very large nose who is extremely intelligent and funny. When Roxanne moves to town, she unfortunately falls for his attractive, yet awkward friend Chris. I'm sure you can guess what follows.

Recently Disney did its own take on Cyrano as well, albeit not as much of a hit as RoxanneLet It Shine features a talented but shy rapper/musician (Cyrus, not Cyrano) who writes romantic hip-hop verses only to stand by as they're delivered to the girl of his dreams (Roxanne) by a proxy, his best friend Kris. Missing from this version is the unfortunately large nose, and in its place is an over-bearing father that prevents Cyrus from being himself. While this adaptation is a bit of a stretch, it does a good job of appealing to a younger audience all while maintaining the original ideas of Cyrano.

A set of adaptations wouldn't be complete without a musical rendition. In Cyrano:The Musical, Ad van Dijk created musical pieces that went along with the original storyline. It premiered in 1992 in Amsterdam and played close to 150 shows before moving to Broadway in 1993. The production accumulated Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Costume Design. Aside from productions in Amsterdam and the United States, the show also played in Belgium, Japan and Germany.

While The Truth About Cats and Dogs may not seem like your typical Cyrano adaptation, the general storyline is still there. This adaptation relys more on outward appearances than other ones do. When a radio listener, Brian, falls for the host, Abby, and goes to meet her at the station, he mistakingly meets her gorgeous best friend Noelle. Instead of correcting him, Abby allows him to fall for Noelle thinking it's her. She continues to woo him on the phone and radio with her voice and charm, all the while feeling down on her appearance, no thanks to Noelle.

 Lastly, we have Cyrano de BurgerShack: A Pop Musical. Found on PlayScripts.com, this rendition blends together both musical and modern elements and is aimed at a younger audience. According to their site, Cyrano is king of the local Burger Shack, but can't seem to win over his best friend, Roxanne. Once Roxanne confesses her crush on the new burger-flipper, Christian, Cyrano decides to play Cupid instead.  It's an updated version of the original, and this rollicking musical features hit contemporary pop songs.

Next time you're having trouble deciding what to watch, maybe pick up one of these from your local Redbox, I'm sure you'll be entertained.

Cyrano runs through May 3 with performances every evening at 7:30 p.m. excluding Mondays.

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