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Joel Zwick

Rostand gets the mob treatment in 'Serrano the Musical'

Rostand gets the mob treatment in 'Serrano the Musical'

“Serrano the Musical,” in its world premiere at the Matrix Theatre, relocates “Cyrano de Bergerac,” originally set in 1640 France, to New York’s Little Italy, around now.

Edmond Rostand’s classic tale, in which literary gifts prove more seductive than good looks, serves up pure wish-fulfillment to us nerds. As its long history of adaptations (including Steve Martin's 1987 film, "Roxanne") suggests, it resonates pretty much anywhere.

Book writer and lyricist Madeline Sunshine’s transformation of “Cyrano” into a mob drama explains the violence in the plot and, not coincidentally, allows the talented cast to have fun with Italian American stereotypes. But in other...