The New Cyrano: a Nose Ahead

Everybody who’s anybody loves The Promethean Theatre. Their last two plays were Two Rooms, Lee Blessing’s emotionally exhausting examination of lives shattered by terrorism, and A Number, Caryl Churchill’s improbably touching play about bad parents and cloning. These were not productions designed to suck in big audiences: They were for smart folks who wanted to see something they’d be chewing on for weeks afterwards. This makes the Prometheans ballsy.

As does their current show, Cyrano, a brand-new adaptation of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. The titular hero of the old Cyrano was a 17th Century Frenchman: a lovesick duelist-cum-poet-cum-musician, who spent his days feeling ugly because of an outsized proboscis. The new Cyrano is nothing like that. Now, Cyrano is a 21st century plastic surgeon in South Beach with a weight problem.

Fucking so dramatically with the canon of Western Lit is seldom a good idea, but cautious optimism is advised. Mark E. Hayes, the feller responsible for this adaptation, is a pretty smart dude. All day long, he teaches young Episcopalians how to write at the Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay -- by night he freelances wildly, does whip-tight criticism and media writing for his friends at Flak magazine, updates his blog, and until recently spent countless hours programming Serious Jazz for 88.9 FM. He is a man of deep and varied interests who would be loath to put his name on anything that sucked.

So: Expect extreme non-suckage tonight at The University Center Black Box Theater (at Nova University, 3301 College Ave, Davie). The show starts tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $25. Call 786-317-7580, or visit www.promeatheantheatre.org.

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Brandon K. Thorp