By Kenneth Jones
11 Oct 2012
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Jamie Lloyd directs the clear, colloquial rhyming-verse translation by Ranjit Bolt. Lighting designer Japhy Weideman's ambient side lighting — which picks up the burnished browns and golds in the work of set and costume designer Soutra Gilmour — makes the staging's physical world seem like a 17th-century Velázquez canvas brought to life (the play is set in the mid-1600s, after all). It's a visually sweet world in the bittersweet life of a swashbuckling yet deformed hero whose love for a beautiful woman named Roxane is unrequited.
Hodge, who won the Tony as Best Actor in a Musical for playing Albin in the recent revival of La Cage aux Folles, plays the title character, Cyrano, the nobleman with poetry in his heart but an ugliness that precedes him. Audiences in previews have been shocked and delighted by one of the most surprising Broadway entrances in recent memory, with swaggering Hodge exploding onto the scene and hidden in darkness for several minutes before we see his bulbous — almost cancerous — nose. The sound you hear at play's end is not just the skittering of falling leaves in Lloyd's autumnal setting, but sniffles from moved playgoers.
Paris-born Poésy (Fleur Delacour in the "Harry Potter" movies, Eva Coupeau in "Gossip Girl") makes her Broadway debut as Roxane, Broadway vet Patrick Page (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Lion King) plays the romantic rival Comte De Guiche, Kyle Soller (Broadway debut) is the handsome but tongue-tied Christian, who woos Roxane with Cyrano's words. The cast also boasts Max Baker (Le Bret), Bill Buell (Ragueneau), Geraldine Hughes (Duenna & Marthe), Samuel Roukin (Valvert ), Peter Bradbury (Carbon de Castel-Jaloux), Mikaela Feely-Lehmann (Claire), Andy Grotelueschen (Montefleury & Friar), Frances Mercanti-Anthony (Amélie, Lise, Mother Marguérite), Tim McGeever (Lignière), Drew McVety (Man #2) and Ben Steinfeld (Musketeer).
This is a limited engagement through Nov. 25. The design team also includes Dan Moses Schreier (sound) and Charlie Rosen (music).