32a3ce2ff186eb2bb9b0f36c2888c3cc Cyrano

by:Sandi Durell

Let no one dissuade you from seeing this bawdy, rowdy revival about the swashbuckling poet, swordsman, and passionate Cyrano played by Tony Award winner Douglas Hodge. After wowing audiences in 2010 in “La Cage Aux Folles” as the cross-dressing Albin opposite Kelsey Grammer’s Georges, he’s back in a role that fits like hand in glove at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s limited run at the American Airlines Theater.

Hodge is magnificent from the beginning cleverly designed entrance coming from outside the theatre, (Director Jamie Lloyd), as he makes his initial appearance dodging here and there, finally landing on stage to display his rather voluminous snout. Is this hammy? You betcha!

As Edmond Rostand’s (updated and feisty translation by Ranjit Bolt) story of love and romance unfolds in rhyming couplets, Cyrano is swift of tongue and sword, but unable to tell his cousin Roxane (French lovely Clemence Poesy), for whom he longs, that she is the apple of his eye. She reveals to Cyrano that she is in love with one of the Gascon cadets, Christian (Kyle Soller). Christian, however, is unable to pursue Roxane because of his lack of articulation when it comes to making poetic love with words. And so Cyrano expresses his heart and secret love by writing love letters on behalf of Christian to his beloved Roxane.

And so there are humorous and numerous sword fights, a bawdy bakery scene with flour flying everywhere, and a tender love scene beneath Roxane’s balcony when Christian comes to woo but is at a loss for words until Cyrano fills in the blanks.

Patrick Page, as the snooty Comte de Guiche, shows his muster and talents away from his recent highlight performance as the Green Goblin in Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, with additional outstanding performances by Geraldine Hughes as Duenna, Max Baker as sidekick Le Bret and Bill Buell as Ragueneau. The entire cast is delightful.

Many years later, after the wars are over, and Roxane has taken to a nunnery still carrying Christian’s last letter in her bosom, she is visited by the now old and ailing Cyrano. This touching last scene is the final reveal of truth for both.

With superb costume and set design by Soutra Gilmour, aided by Japhy Weideman’s lighting and Dan Moses Schreier’s sound, this is a production you’ll be glad you saw it.

*Photo: Joan Marcus