‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ in Review

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Nose.  There, I said it.

And the most famous nose in literature is back on Broadway.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of the French classic Cyrano de Bergerac opened on Oct. 11 at the American Airlines Theatre.  This production features a new English translation from French by Ranjit Bolt, who preserves Edmund Rostand’s rhyming couplets and some of the play’s French nuances.

Cyrano (Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles), a large-nosed lover, poet and soldier, seeks the love of the beautiful Roxane (Clémence Poésy, Harry Potter film series), who is not physically attracted to him.  He devises a plan with a young soldier, Christian (Kyle Soller), whom Roxane loves, implying that Cyrano will help Christian with eloquence and that Christian will woo her with his looks. Meanwhile, watching keenly, the Comte de Guiche (Patrick Page, A Man for All Seasons) also attempts to woo Roxane.

Hodge is excellent in his role, and his skillful sword fighting and physicality are quite compelling.  He conveys Cyrano’s internal struggle, combining his love for Roxane and his duty to his band of cadets, whom he leads.

Page’s voice is truly something to behold.  His deep, villainous tone resonates throughout the entire theatre, completely exhibiting his character’s scheming, and sly personality.

Poésy is also quite good as Roxane, showing her internal conflict, which comes to a climax in the final act. However, her French accent is a bit hard to interpret at times.

Overall, the play was very entertaining, but some of the most dramatic moments moved too quickly, especially at the end of the final act.  The rushed language at these moments can be difficult to understand and more time would better convey the emotion and dramatic effect of the scene.

Even though Roxane sees “a problem in [Christian]’s eloquence,” the play is a quite enjoyable and classic production that, despite its flaws, all theater fans should rush too.