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Review Roundup: CYRANO DE BERGERAC Opens on Broadway - All the Reviews!

Roundabout Theatre Company presents Cyrano de Bergerac, officially opening last night, October 11, 2012 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway in a limited engagement through November 25, 2012. 

The play stars Tony Award winner Douglas Hodge as "Cyrano", Clémence Poésy making her Broadway debut as "Roxane" and Broadway veteran Patrick Page as "Comte De Guiche."

The design team includes Soutra Gilmour (Sets & Costumes), Japhy Weideman (Lights), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound). This production of Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand, will feature a translation by Ranjit Bolt, directed by Jamie Lloyd.

Cyrano is a nobleman with a tremendous wit and an enormous nose. All of Paris adores him except for his true love Roxane, who can’t see past his all-too-prominent facial feature. Instead, she falls for a handsome young cadet named Christian. But when Christian admits he’s tongue-tied with Roxane, Cyrano gives him the romantic words guaranteed to win her heart. With Christian’s looks and Cyrano’s language, it’s a foolproof plan! Or is it?

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Ben Brantley, The New York Times: This gale force has a name, Douglas Hodge, and it is inhabiting, enlivening and almost exploding the title character...Mr. Hodge is as light and oxygenating as air, even as the pure physical impact of his performance sets you reeling. Still, though I hate to say it, that old ennui crept up on me whenever Mr. Hodge wasn’t onstage. Mercifully, that’s only a small fraction of the production. 

Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: Despite a wonderfully yeasty Hodge, an always welcome Patrick Page and a lovely Clemence Poesy as Roxane, this "Cyrano" often lumbers over its 2 hours and 45 minutes, tending to get bogged down in the florid, repetitive verse...This production may be a tad overdone, overstuffed and overwrought at times, but it has something that Cyrano himself considered one of the most important things in the world. It has panache.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: While Hodge attacks the title role with formidable energy and inventiveness, his virtuosic display muffles the poetry of the play. The same goes in general for the pedal-to-the-metal approach of Jamie Lloyd’s unevenly cast production...Page’s handle on the language is impeccable and effortless, something that can’t be said for all other aspects of this revival.

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: (* * * * out of four). It's a safe bet, even at this early stage, that [Hodge will] collect another Tony nod for his effort. Mind you, the leading man benefits from a superb supporting cast, directed with blazing vigor by Hodge's fellow Brit Jamie Lloyd, and from Ranjit Bolt's witty, earthy translation, also a U.K. import.

Matt Windman, amNYEdmond Rostand's 1897 sentimental fairy tale romance "Cyrano de Bergerac" is not so much a great play as it is a durable star vehicle for a skilled actor who can handle rhymed verse, swordplay and a giant prosthetic nose...The Roundabout Theatre Company's new production proves to be not as fortunate in its casting of Douglas Hodge, an indulgent English actor. 

Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal: Mr. Hodge gets what "Cyrano" is all about, and in its quiet moments his performance is deeply moving—but there aren't enough of them. Not only is Jamie Lloyd's staging as noisy as a concert by a band of jackhammers, but the Roundabout's production makes use of a boisterous new rhyming translation by Ranjit Bolt that updates the play's language to inconsistent effect. Mr. Bolt has salted Rostand's couplets with anachronistic colloquialisms like "No can do" and "I'll eat my hat," and he lacks the easy virtuosity necessary to charge them with the sparkling flair that comes so naturally to Cyrano.

Marilyn Stasio, Variety: Credit helmer Jamie Lloyd with an original concept for staging Rostand's 19th-century romantic drama. Ditching the affected manners, elaborate court dress, and elegant verse readings associated with classic presentations of this French masterpiece, the Brit director portrays Cyrano as a swashbuckling military leader with the same lusty appetites as his soldiers -- who happen to enjoy a good poetry contest as much as a tavern brawl. But a lack of restraint spoils the fun, making it all seem too big (Cyrano's honker), too much (stomping on tables), and over the top (Douglas Hodge's star turn).

Linda Winer, Newsday: Douglas Hodge is a kind and rather rough-hewn Cyrano. Alas, in most other ways, this is a busy, generic production...Page goes so far beyond the cardboard outlines of this villain that we wish the play were about Cyrano and him. The translation by Ranjit Bolt is unpleasantly fixed on exclamations of excrement. For a play about loving words and a hero for whom bad poetry is a fighting offense, this just feels wrong.

Robert Feldberg, NorthJersey.com: Taken on its own, "Cyrano de Bergerac" is an extremely entertaining play, and this production allows the audience to enjoy it. If not great or memorable, it's good, and very solid.

Scott Brown, NY MagazineHodge is an enormous talent, and he does excellent work, but it does sometimes look like work.

Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News: With his blank expression framed by a stringy wig and an unflattering black ensemble that makes him appear slightly paunchy and derelict, Douglas Hodge brings to Broadway an unprecedented interpretation of the courtly Cyrano de Bergerac as frat boy, in a production that could be an episode of TV’s “Arrested Development.”
 
Elisabeth Vincentelli, NY Post: Indeed, while Jamie Lloyd’s production excels at the comedy, it misses the target when it comes to the play’s somber side. Lackluster supporting turns further undermine the show.
 
Tanner Stransky, Entertainment Weekly: Cyrano de Bergerac will always be Cyrano — that is to say, you can't expect new revelations from Edmond Rostand's often exhausting, bloated 1897 play itself. In the Roundabout Theatre Company's new Broadway production, it's still the same sing-songy piece about a tragic, weird love story set in an opulent, war-torn 17th-century France. 
 
Erik Haagensen, Backstage: I suppose it’s possible that “Cyrano” traditionalists will not be as taken with Lloyd’s interpretation as I was. Nevertheless, I would urge everyone to check out Roundabout Theatre Company’s thoughtful, committed production.

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