Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cyrano de Bergerac: Delightful

Only a few days after seeing the unbelievable December 9th performance of SPRING AWAKENING, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner perform in CYRANO de BERGERAC at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The show was, as one would expect, wordy. And quite honestly, I expected it to be funnier. Naps were stolen on either side of me during the three-hour play but it was, as my father would say, really delightful.

Kevin Kline was impeccable. As I expected he would be. However, the Richard Rodgers is a large house and the intricate language was often lost in that vast space. In fact, a man a few rows behind us shouted out, "A little louder please!" Kevin improvised, said something about ghosts in the theatre, upped his volume and carried on. The nerve of some people! Bottom line, Kevin Kline is truly a craftsman and it was a privilege to see him perform live.

Jennifer Garner as Roxanne gave quite an enjoyable performance. There was an affectation to her voice that, honestly, I didn't care for. I would prefer to see her in a more intimate space. There is a sparkling charisma to her voice when she is just speaking, as she did during the Gypsy speech after the show. I am sure that many will beg to differ but there you go. Overall, she was charming. And she very kindly shook hands with people in the front row, so gracious.

Daniel Sunjata delivered an affable Christian. I remember him from DEVIL WEARS PRADA as the guy that makes the deal with Meryl Streep. I didn't love him, I didn't hate him.

And I didn't realize until I got to the theatre that Euan Morton was in it. I was momentarily delighted because I just finished watching my copy of SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY and was so moved by his segment in that film. But then it was realized that his understudy was on that night. And there you have it, life in the theatre.

If you have the opportunity to see it, I would recommend it. As long as you can endure its length and eloquence. The sets are gorgeous and the costumes are lush, very pretty to look at.

(By the way, after the curtain call, Mr. Kline auctioned off his prosthetic nose to someone in the audience for $900 to benefit BC/EFA. Before the auction began he said, "You all have been a great audience. With the exception of one. [beat] Can you hear me now?" A gentlemen to the very end, just like Cyrano.)

More theatre commentary to come, so stay tuned!

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