fabulous new production of Cyrano de Bergerac the
golden age of the American theatre is alive and well at the
Theatre at St. Clement’s, one of the oldest
continuously-operated Off-Broadway theaters in New York.
and starring Tony Award-nominated actor (for Best Actor)
Gabriel Barre, this production of the Edmond Rostand classic
is a classic itself. I’m positive that the late Jose Ferrer,
who I knew personally and well – and who practically set the
modern-day standard for the title role in his 1950 film --
would have graciously taken off his own white-plumed hat in
admiration to the acting and production.
Mr. Barre's eloquent
portrayal of the ski-nosed hero is thrilling in its pathos,
sweeping majesty and sheer magic. The same can be said of his
direction, revolving around a small turn-table where the
love and battlefield scenes are seamlessly interwoven.
Barre, who most
recently directed the musical Amazing Grace on
Broadway, joins a long list of great actors who have played
Rostand’s title character, including Mr. Ferrer at the New
York City Center and Kevin Klein in 2007. The late, great
Walter Hampton first played Cyrano on Broadway back in 1923
and reprised the role on the Great White Way three more
times in subsequent years.
of Cyrano de Bergerac was adapted by Gabriel Barre,
Rick Sordelet and Alexander Sovronsky. It was produced by
the Resonance Ensemble, Eric Parness, Artistic Director and
Rachel Reiner, Managing Director. Barre was supported by a
highly-gifted cast including Bridget Saracino as Roxanne and
Luke Darnell as Christian, who has the looks but lacks both
the prose and poetry to express his love he feels in his
heart for the beautiful Roxanne. I also very much liked Rin
Allen, Joe Jung, Mark Peters, Alexander Sovronsky and Louis
Tucci in their roles. Jennifer Paulson-Lee as the show’s
choreographer also deserves great applause for her artistry.