A Nose for Poetry: Cyrano de Bergerac, With Douglas Hodge, Clémence Poésy, Patrick Page, Opens on Broadway

By Kenneth Jones
11 Oct 2012

Clémence Poésy and Kyle Soller
photo by Joan Marcus

Here's how Roundabout bills the 1897 French classic: "An enduring masterwork with some of the wittiest lines ever written for the stage, Cyrano de Bergerac is a clever and touching story about the power of love, the art of wordplay and the joy of finding what you've always wanted right under your nose. Cyrano's a nobleman with a head for poetry and a nose for miles. 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?"

Hodge was recently directed by Lloyd in a sold-out run in John Osborne's play Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar Warehouse in London, for which he received an Olivier nomination. Lloyd was associate director of the Donmar from 2008 to 2011. His recent theatre credits include The Duchess of Malfi (Old Vic); She Stoops to Conquer (National, Olivier Theatre); The Faith Machine and The Pride (Royal Court; Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement for The Pride).

"He is a master of language," director Lloyd said of Hodge in a recent Playbill magazine article. "Cyrano is a play about words, about how you can use words to express something as intangible as love, with a capital L. Have you ever seen one of Doug's working scripts? No? They are full of postcards, images, sketches, drawings, anything that can help him bring it alive. How he juggles everything he does — actor, writer, director, father — I don't know, but he's great at all of it."

Lloyd added, "This is more than a swashbuckler or a rom-com, which is how it has often been played. It's highly unusual in that it's not naturalistic, it's not high drama, not low comedy, not Ibsen, not boulevard — and yet it is all of those things. It's richer, and more intensely political. It's a great work of art. Rostand is a voice against the morally corrupt, against the establishment, for the underdog. His Cyrano, because of his disfigurement, can speak for people everywhere around the world who are trying to find their own voice."

Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, going online at roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines box office at 227 W. 42nd Street.