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Director's Letter: Cyrano de Bergerac

"Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl confesses she is in love with Someone Else... but this Man is not who she thinks he is. Charged with protecting Christian, the love of Roxane, Cyrano does everything he can to keep his love happy even if that means losing her or himself. Follow Cyrano as he navigates this heartbreaking love triangle of words and blades."

On December 27, 1897, the curtain rose at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, and the audience was astounded. A full hour after the curtain fell, they were still applauding. A year later, the production toured Europe with a troupe of forty actors. The set design was based on the original, and the costumes were identical - two hundred and fifty in all.

Although the audiences were dazzled by the spectacle - a counterpoint to the late 19th Century's theatre's stark realism - Cyrano de Bergerac endures because of its heart: the love of the witty and beautiful Roxane sought by two men, Cyrano and Christian. Beyond this core, there are themes of idealism, heroic principles, and sacrifice - and some of the wittiest dialogue of the Classical Era.

This production uses "suggested" costumes and sets to focus instead on the characters, because many of the audience members may have their own version of this story.

~Richard Lemin

**Historical Note: The longest-running Broadway production ran 232 performances in 1923 and starred Walter Hampden, who returned to the role four times and landed him on the cover of TIME Magazine in 1929. Hampden used the Brian Hooker translation prepared especially for him, which became such a classic in itself that is was used by virtually every English-speaking Cyrano until the mid-1980s. In 1946, Hampden passed the torch to Jose Ferrer, who won a Tony Award for playing Cyrano, an in a 1950 film version, Ferrer won the Academy Award for Best Actor.


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