The Nose Knows – Cyrano at Portland Center Stage

Portland Center Stage was kind enough to offer me two complimentary press tickets to see their new show Cyrano and I gladly accepted.  Mr. Won’t Run and I love the theater!  Sadly, at the last minute he couldn’t go with me, but I wasn’t going to let not having a date stop me so I ventured out on my own and I’m so glad I did, I thought the show was wonderful!

Cyrano Poster

The only association I have with Cyrano de Bergerac is the 1987 movie Roxanne with Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah.  I was almost 9 years old when that came out and I don’t even remember when or where I saw it, but that vague memory of Steve Martin with a big nose, offering his poetic words to someone with a smaller nose, all for a girl, was the gist of what I remembered.  I went into the show not knowing the full story, and while the ending may have beautifully broken my heart a bit, the lead up to it was filled with singing, swordplay, and shenanigans.  Everything you could ask for in a show, right?!

Cyrano Singing

I thought the cast (all from Portland and Seattle) did an amazing job and I was totally swept away into the story.  The funny, sweet, tragic story.  I don’t want to give it all away if you’re not familiar, or only partially familiar like I was, so I won’t tell you more except that I absolutely recommend it!

Did you know Cyrano was a real person in the 1600s?  Apparently he really was known for his words, his dueling, and his nose!  Even Roxane, his distant cousin, was a real person, although the romance was invented by French playwright Edmond Rostand.  Cyrano de Bergerac was his fourth, and most celebrated, play which debuted in 1879 in Paris.

Cyrano Swordplay

I thought this translation was beautifully done and it made me long for a time when words meant so much.  Now it’s all LOL, IDK, BTW, CUL8R… about as far from poetic as you can get.  I think that’s why I like Downton Abbey so much too.  Words (and full on sentences) can be darn sexy, don’t you think?

Cyrano Shenanigans

The 2015 version put on by Portland Center stage is a new adaptation by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner.  They stay true to the original story but update it with some modern prose.  About the translation, Hollinger has stated “language that is alive, that wakes the ear up, is more important to me than strict adherence to poetic form.”

Language that wakes the ear up…  yes, more of that please!

Cyrano

Wanna wake up your own ears?  You have through May 3rd to see the show!

Grab your tickets here, and if you need a date I’ll go with you!

Want to read another Cyrano review?  Check out what fellow Portland Blogger Pechluck had to say!

Pssssst!  Hey GRIMM fans, check out what’s opening May 22nd: Three Days of Rain starring Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz!!!!  OMG!  I mean… be still my beating heart, I am breathless with sweet anticipation.  Seriously though.  Seriously.  Who’s going with me?

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the mention. I also really enjoyed the brief return to poetic prose during this play and celebrating eloquence. And what about that beautiful costume Roxane wore on the famous balcony scene, sigh!!

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