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Photo Flash: First Look at Chicago Shakespeare's CYRANO DE BERGERAC

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Cyrano de Bergerac, launching the Theater's 2013-2014 Season. CST's new production of Edmond Rostand's timeless classic, adapted and translated by Anthony Burgess, marks the return to CST of director Penny Metropulos and film and stage actor Harry Groener, the duo behind the Theater's award-winning 2011 production of The Madness of George III. Featuring some of the most romantic and witty verse written for the stage, Cyrano de Bergerac is a poignant and entertaining homage to poetry, love and panache which will run in CST's Courtyard Theater now through November 10, 2013. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!

Cyrano de Bergerac tells the tale of the iconic nobleman whose gift for romance is shadowed by his all-too-prominent nose. Feeling unworthy of the love of the beautiful Roxane, Cyrano uses his intellect and style wooing her for his comrade Christian to heart-wrenching effect. Cyrano de Bergerac opens the season showcasing the celebrated partnership of director Penny Metropolus and actor Harry Groener, the actor-director team behind CST's wildly popular production of The Madness of George III. The illustrious Harry Groener, who took home Chicago's Best Actor Jeff Award for his King George, will tackle Cyrano, considered one of the hallmark roles for an actor. Mr. Groener's expansive stage career includes critically-acclaimed performances on Broadway in Crazy for You (Tony Award nomination), Oklahoma! (Theatre World Award, Tony Awardand Drama Desk Award nominations), Cats (Tony Award nomination), Harrigan and Hart(Drama Desk Award nomination), Sunday in the Park with George, Imaginary Friends, andSpamalot. He was last seen in Chicago creating the role of General William Tecumseh Sherman in the 2012 world premiere of The March at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Mr. Groener is also a frequent face in film and television, most recognized as The Mayor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Penny Metropulos returns to CST to direct the production after winning the Best Director Jeff Award for The Madness of King George III. Ms. Metropulos recently spent nineteen seasons with the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, twelve of which leading company as Associate Artistic Director. Representative credits there include Henry IV Part 1, The Philanderer, Lorca in a Green Dress (World Premiere), Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, The Tempest, The Good Person of Szechuan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Death of a Salesman.

Joining Groener as Cyrano's love interest Roxane is Julie Jesneck, who makes her CST debut. Ms. Jesneck has been seen on Broadway as Diedre in Trevor Nunn's production of Rock 'n' Rolland Off-Broadway in Mary Broome and Love Goes To Press (Mint Theater). Her diverse credits include performances both classical, such as The Gaming Table (Folger Theatre) and Othello(The Old Globe), and in new works, including starring as Emm in the world premiere of Grace, or the Art of Climbing (Denver Center). Rounding out the love triangle is Nick Dillenburg as Christian, making his Chicago and CST debut. Dillenburg's New York credits include Hater (Ohio Theater), Henry V in Into the Hazard: Henry V (Walkerspace), and Taking Leave (Manhattan Class Company FreshPlay), with work at TheShakespeare Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Guthrie Theater, and Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Actors returning to Chicago Shakespeare are Sean Fortunato (The School for Lies, Sunday in the Park with George, Timon of Athens) as Cyrano's friend and confidante La Bret; Jeff Award-winning actor Ross Lehman (As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors) as Ragueneau; and Wendy Robie (Private Lives, Richard III, Hamlet) performing the roles of Duenna and Mother Marguerite. CST welcomes back to the Courtyard Stage William Dick(Henry VIII, Timon of Athens, The Madness of George III) to play the Patron and Capuchin,Richard Baird (The Madness of George III) as Montfleury and Brendan Marshall-Rashid(Romeo and Juliet, Richard III) as the Marquis. Also returning to CST are Terrence Mosley as Cuigy, Kevin Cox as the Pickpocket, and Dave Belden in the ensemble.

New faces on Chicago Shakespeare Theater's stages include Aloysius Gigl as the deceitful Comte de Guiche, Ryan Bourque as his accomplice Vicomte de Valvert and Ray Chapman as Ligniere. Also new to CST are Michael Doonan as Jodelet, Erika Haaland as Rose and Sister Claire and Sara Griffin performing the roles of Lisa, Precieuse and Sister Marte. Tyler Rich,Ryan Hallahan, Elliott Delman, Regina Leslie, Rosa Reinemann, Kenton Gott and Aaron Latteral complete the cast.

The Jeff Award-winning creative team for Cyrano de Bergerac includes Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet (Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, Timon of Athens, As You Like It), Costume Designer Susan Mickey (The School for Lies, Timon of Athens, Richard III), and Lighting Designer Jesse Klug (Shrek The Musical, Murder for Two, Cadre, SS! The Taming of the Shrew). Composer Rokko Jans, who has written music for over 23 productions at Chicago Shakespeare (including Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2) and resident Wig and Make-up DesignerMelissa Veal (Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, The School for Lies) also join the exceptional team of designers.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Cyrano de Bergerac runs September 24 through November 10, 2013 in CST's Courtyard Theater. Tickets are on sale now for $58-$78 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets or a season subscription, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren

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Harry Groener as Cyrano

Harry Groener as Cyrano

Viscount Valvert (Ryan Bourque) and Cyrano (Harry Groener)

Cyrano (Harry Groener) and Roxane (Julie Jesneck)

Christian (Nick Dillenburg) and Roxane (Julie Jesneck)

Cyrano (Harry Groener) and La Bret (Sean Fortunato)

Cyrano (Harry Groener) masquerading as the tongue-tied Christian (Nick Dillenburg) to Roxane (Julie Jesneck)

Count de Guiche (Aloysius Gigl) and Roxane (Julie Jesneck) and Company

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