Five-time Tony-nominated director David Leveaux stages Edmond Rostand's 1897 verse classic, featuring an adaptation by the late Anthony Burgess. The ten-week limited engagement continues through Dec. 23.
Cyrano de Bergerac, according to press notes, concerns "the soulful poet/philosopher and brilliant swordsman Cyrano (Kline), a cadet in the French Army, [who] falls for the beautiful, strong-willed Roxane (Garner), but is too ashamed of his large nose to tell her. Instead, when he learns that she loves the handsome Christian de Neuvillette (Sunjata), his dim-witted comrade, he pens poetry and love letters to Roxane on Christian's behalf. After many years, the truth is revealed. Will love or beauty conquer all?"
The Cyrano company also features Euan Morton as Ligniere, Max Baker as Ragueneau, Chris Sarandon as Comte de Guiche, John Douglas Thompson as Le Bret, Concetta Tomei as Roxane's Duenna, Tom Bloom as Montfleury, Peter Jay Fernandez as Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, MacIntyre Dixon as Jodelet and Carman Lacivita as Vicomte de Valvert.
Ensemble cast members for Cyrano are Nance Williamson, Piter Marek, Baylen Thomas, Daniel Stewart Sherman, Keith Eric Chappelle, Thomas Schall, Davis Duffield, Alexander Sovronsky, Lucas Papaelias, Fred Rose, Stephen Balantzian, Amefika El-Amin, Ginifer King, Kate Guyton and Leenya Rideout.
The creative team includes scenic design by Tom Pye, costume design by Gregory Gale, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by David Van Tiegham. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street in Manhattan. Tickets are available by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.
A production of Cyrano de Bergerac has not been mounted on Broadway since 1984. The original production opened in 1897 starring Benoit-Constant Coquelin, who performed the role over 400 times at the Theatre de la Porte-Saint-Martin in Paris. A translated production opened at The Garden Theatre in New York in 1899. The longest-running Broadway production starred Walter Hampden in 1923. Jose Ferrer won a Tony Award for his performance in the role in a 1946 Broadway staging. For a special performance of it, Ferrer played the title role for the first four acts and Hampden assumed it for the fifth.
The most famous film versions are the 1950 picture starring Ferrer (for which he won the Academy Award) and the 1990 French-language version starring Gerard Depardieu. In 1987 Steve Martin and Darryl Hannah starred in a comedic re-interpretation called "Roxanne."
"Further engraining itself into theatrical and world history, Cyrano de Bergerac is cited as being responsible for introducing the word 'panache' (literally translated as 'white plume,' but more generally known to mean 'elegant assertiveness') into the English language as the only turn of phrase that captures the true spirit of its hero," according to production notes.
The plays of Rostand (1868-1918) include Le Gant Rouge, Les Deux Pierrots, Ou Le Souper Blanc, Les Romanesques (which was adapted into The Fantasticks), L'aiglon, La Samaritaine, La Princesse Lointaine and Chantecler.
Burgess (1917-1993) was a British novelist, critic and composer. Burgess' fiction includes the "The Long Day Wanes," "Nothing Like the Sun," "A Clockwork Orange" and "Earthly Powers." He wrote critical studies of Joyce, Hemingway, Shakespeare and Lawrence, produced the treatises on linguistics "Language Made Plain" and "A Mouthful of Air," and was a prolific journalist, writing in several languages. He also translated and adapted Oedipus the King and Carmen for the stage; scripted "Jesus of Nazareth" and "Moses the Lawgiver" for the screen; and invented the prehistoric language spoken in "Quest for Fire."