Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cyrano de Bergerac - Seattle Shakespeare Company

Whatever you do, don't mention the nose... for it is the one thing that stands between Cyrano de Bergerac and the love of his life, the sweet, beautiful, witty and perfect Roxane.

Edmond Rostand's play based on the real Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) is a semi-accurate depiction of the famous hero/poet/philosopher. Though aspects are exaggerated and, at times, entire ideals completely changed, the life of dueling and schooling is very correct. Stephanie Shine's direction of this production with the help of all her technical support, especially Gordon Carpenter (fight choreography), is a good portrayal of this famous and historical legend.

Technically, the swordplay is the most impressive aspect. The set, by John Kirschenbaum, is simple and quaint yet fitting and the costumes, by Deborah Skorstad, are accurate and just elaborate enough. The main weight of this show on stage is carried by Scott Coopwood playing Cyrano de Bergerac. His work in this role is remarkable. His "panache" is to die for and his comic jabs and flowering verse has the audience captivated. His colleagues are not so strong, unfortunately. Though good for the most part, those in more leading roles are weak and seem even more so next to Coopwood.

Though it is a wonderful and humorous yet tragic story, this production lacks exactly what Coopwood brings forth the most, the panache.

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