Submitted by Don Doman.
The highest-grossing film of 1965 was The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. At that time most people said, “Christopher who?” Not me, however. Somewhere in my studio I have a reel to reel audio tape that is an absolute treasure. During my Junior year at Clover Park High (1962-63) I recorded a Hallmark Hall of Fame program of our TV: Cyrano de Bergerac starring Christopher Plummer as Cyrano and Hope Lange as Roxanne. At one time I knew most of the lines by heart. Plummer, a Canadian actor had won acclaim with his portrayal. At the time I recorded the program I was taking speech and acting classes at Clover Park during the day and television production classes each afternoon at Clover Park Vocational School, which had it’s own television studio.
Cyrano is a romantic hero during the time of the French Musketeers – a soldier and a poet . . . and a swordsman extraordinaire – who will permit no one to dishonor him. Cyrano is very sensitive about his huge nose. If you stare at it you may soon cross swords. If you purposefully don’t look at his nose, again you may soon cross swords. To duel with Cyrano is not a good idea. You will not walk away.
At a local Inn an actor is supposed to perform, but Cyrano has forbidden him to appear (he has personal reasons). When Cyrano stops the show, the crowd objects. Cyrano faces them and says, “I offer a collective challenge to you all. First in line . . . no crowding . . . who shall be the first to die?” There are no takers. Finally, a nobleman steps up and has a war of words with Cyrano. As with swords, you cannot win a war of words with Cyrano. The gentleman sneers at Cyrano and disdainfully says, “Poet!” Cyrano agrees and offers to conduct the duel at the same time he creates a ballad of the engagement and promises that when he ends the refrain, he will thrust home. In other words, Cyrano will duel at the same time he is creating a rhyming commentary. Picture Muhammad Ali performing rap, boxing, and predicting in which round he will knock out his opponent AND how he will do it. When Cyrano slightly lowers his head, the fop asks, “Praying for strength?” Cyrano answers, “No . . . for a rhyme.”
After fighting . . . basking in the glow of adulation . . . and broken-hearted over his cousin, Roxanne he is bombastic . . . flamboyant . . . and issuing challenges. His best friend takes him aside and says, “Shout that to all the world and then tell me very quietly . . . she loves you not.”
I have seen Cyrano movies staring Jose Ferrer (Stanley Kramer directed this 1950 film and Ferrer won Best Actor for his performance as Cyrano), Gerard Depardieu, and Steve Martin playing their version of the flawed hero. Plummer is my favorite Cyrano. The play is captivating with plays on words, love lost, found, and lost again. I have missed it locally every time it is produced, but I keep looking. Now, Tacoma Little Theatre is offering their own collective challenge to a musical-comedy version by young actors. Peg and I have tickets for us and two granddaughters. It will kick off a short vacation for us. We look forward to a great production with lots of laughs . . . and comments to think about.
Tacoma Little Theatre has a new version of Cyrano to offer – “Rock and roll songs bring a classic story to life in CYRANO DE BURGERSHACK!”
ClubTLT is pleased to present their summer performance of Cyrano de Burgershack, directed by Jennifer Niehaus-Rivers.
Cyrano is king of the local Burger Shack, but he can’t seem to win the love of his best friend, Roxanne. When Roxanne confesses her crush on the new burger-flipper, Christian, Cyrano decides that playing Cupid is better than sitting out of the game. An updated, modern-day version of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, this rollicking musical features some great hit songs!
Cyrano de Burgershack will run Friday, August 3, 2018 until Sunday, August 5, 2018. Friday and Saturday showings are at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm. This show is recommended for all ages.
Tickets are $7.00 and may be purchased online at www.tacomalittletheatre.com, or by calling our Box Office at (253) 272-2281.
Please, attend . . . cross swords . . . enjoy . . . en garde!