CSC’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” Captures the Essence of Love
Posted On September 15, 2015
Review by Prabir Das of Cyrano de Bergerac: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Cyrano de Bergerac, authored by Edmond Rostand over a century ago in 1897, can still make audiencesâ€™ hearts beat in 2015, and perhaps will continue to do so for many more years, or as long as the essence of heartfelt love prevails in the world. Yes, there is loveâ€”and then there is the love that pours out of the inner heart or soul like it oozes out of Cyrano de Bergeracâ€™s heart for Roxane.Â Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production certainly captures this passion and intensity.
The combination of a poet by virtue and a warrior through attitude can be one of the most powerful and uplifting characters, yet, an extraordinarily elongated nose can pose as the biggest self-saboteur when it comes to expressing genuine love. And that is exactly what happens in the life of Cyrano de Bergerac when he attempts to demonstrate his love for Roxane. The inner awkwardness of Cyrano, who is otherwise brilliant and charismatic, never could allow him to rise above his large nose.
Jeremy Dubin is as sharp as his sword in portraying Cyrano de Bergerac on stage. Though no other characters could challenge Jeremyâ€™s poignancy, Â collectively they all are able to develop and flow through this rather lengthy play that lasted for nearly three hours. Caitlin McWethy renders a greatÂ portrayal of Roxane but I expected a bit more sharpness of her intelligence and intellect, which were hooded under the charm of her beauty and elegance. Tia LeShaun Davis as Roxaneâ€™s Duenna definitely deserves a solid mention.
Director of the play, Brian Isaac Phillips, is known for his mastery in theater and he once again proved his brilliance in Cyrano de Bergerac. Manipulating the complex compositions and movements of multiple characters on stage as well as off-stage at times, his thoughtfulness clearly comes through as the maestro.
Andrew J. Hungerfordâ€™s scenic design is simply spectacular in this play. His craftsmanship in designing the set definitely transports us back to the era and adds additional dimension to the play. From the theatre house to the bakery shop to the war front and eventually to the convent â€“ everywhere Andrew leaves Â impressions of remarkable dexterity.
Costume designer Amanda McGee must have poured out her imagination and wizardry in her creation of costumes for all.Â They areÂ so well balanced, befitting the characters, and the color combinations are definitely eye catching.
Fight coordination, by Gina Cerimele-Mechley, perhaps needed a little more thorough work, especially with the sword fight scenes, to make it more realistically appealing and flawless. The actors attempted their best with the fighting movements, though the swords at times didnâ€™t synchronize as they should have had.
Barring very few fumbles in dialogue, the entire team lived up to its reputation and professionalism. It is strongly recommended for all theater loving audiences to attend this play, a must if one has any inclination or affection towards good theater.