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Sur scènes et sur écrans

2009 - Colm Feore

Stratford Shakespeare Festival - Canada

Previews begin: May 29
Opens: Jun 19
Closes: Nov 1



Donna Feore, Director Santo Loquasto, Designer Alan Brodie, Lighting Designer Leslie Arden, Composer Todd Charlton, Sound Designer Cast Colm Feore, Cyrano de Bergerac Amanda Lisman, Roxane Mike Shara, Christian Wayne Best, Le Bret Stephen Gartner, Jodelet Roy Lewis, Bellerose Paul Nolan, Valvert Cyrano, big nose, bigger heart STRATFORD – "It's sooo romantic," sighed a friend as she left the Festival Theatre after seeing Cyrano de Bergerac for the first time. True. Focused – transcendently – on the love of an outwardly disfigured man for a beautiful woman, Cyrano is a gorgeous, devastatingly romantic story. And with Colm Feore in the title role, this production often soars to the heights; I'd be heartily surprised if there was a dry eye in the house after Friday night's opening. Cyrano, he of the unfortunately large proboscis, is a swashbuckler, poet and righter of wrongs but fears outright rejection if he dares confess his passion for his lovely cousin Roxane. She, meanwhile, has fallen head over bustle in love with one Christian de Neuvillette, a good-looking but tongue-tied young soldier. Cyrano draws on the deep well of love inside him to provide the words for Christian, who reaps the rewards of Cyrano's fire and eloquence (although Rostand leaves their eventual marriage unconsummated). Feore is almost everything you could want in a Cyrano – by turns dashing, funny and heartbreaking. In short, a fine actor in a great role. There are three key scenes in the play: the wooing of Roxane under a balcony, Christian's realization of Cyrano's love for Roxane just before the battle in which Christian is killed, and Cyrano's own death scene. All are handled exquisitely by Feore, whose painful, heart-on-the-sleeve sensitivity is interspersed occasionally with wonderful sallies of wit and humour. Director Donna Feore has also made the inspired decision to include several passages in the original French (husband Colm is bilingual) and this adds immeasurably to the overall experience. It also helps that Mike Shara as Christian offers rather more than the handsome but dumb hunk that one usually sees. This Christian is energetic and (except around Roxanne) positive, showing glimpses of the "military wit" that he claims for himself. It works well; Shara's charisma and talent help provide a better balance for the whole play. Amanda Lisman smiles and looks extremely pretty as Roxane. It is not, perhaps, the greatest of roles, but more can be made of it. Wayne Best is grounded and sturdy as Le Bret and Steve Ross brings some gravitas to the pastry chef/poet Ragueneau when the temptation is to make him a throwaway comic caricature. However, John Vickery's Comte de Guiche is boom and bluster where a little more real menace would be welcome. Santo Loquasto's costumes are lovely, as are the lights of Alan Brodie and the music of Leslie Arden. The sets, to my mind, are rather less effective, hampering the free flow of action on more than one occasion. Talking of action, the battle scene is noisy and dramatic while the duels (courtesy of fight director John Stead) are truly exciting. In fact, the whole thing is done with considerable panache (to use Cyrano's favourite word). And, of course, with generous helpings of love. robcrew@hotmail.com thestar.com Robert Persichini, Montfleury Steve Ross, Ragueneau John Vickery, Comte de Guiche Merci Nadine pour l'info





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Publié le 19 / 12 / 2008.


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