Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review of Cyrano at The House Theatre of Chicago

Once upon a time, I went to a show and it was called Cyrano. Cyrano was about a poet with a long nose (Shawn Pfautsch), and he was in love with this woman named Roxanne (Stacy Stoltz), but she was in love with somebody else, and Cyrano and Roxanne were just friends. This guy that she was actually in love with was not very good at poetry, and his name was Christian (Glenn Stanton), so when he wanted to talk to her on his own it turned out very bad. Matt Hawkins did the fight choreography and he also directed the show. I think the fighting was really good and cool and awesome. I would describe the play as hilarious but very touching and sad.

Cyrano's nose was the biggest nose after Pinocchio--which has a very long nose, so that means Cyrano has a very long nose, which you will see in the picture below. I wondered how they made his nose grow so long. I think it was a rubber nose that they glued onto his face. I thought it was kind of weird that people that saw his nose were like "Oh my gosh!" because his nose wasn't sooo weird. In this letter Roxanne says "Even if your handsomeness goes away, I would still love you." She thinks she is writing to Christian but she is actually writing to Cyrano. That means that she doesn't really care if somebody's nose is long. She'll love them anyway. I think that is good that she doesn't care how handsome they are, just how smart they are.

I liked the songs (by Kevin O'Donnell, Shawn Pfautsch, and Matt Hawkins) but my favorite one was "Panache." "Panache is a word that makes me crash"--isn't that a good rhyme? Panache means white feather in French. I found that out on Wikipedia. The feather makes him look like a poet. It is like everything in the whole world to him. It's a very special feather that makes him who he is. Panache is poetry-ness. Poetry-ness means that he writes good words and he is good with romance and stuff like that. He fights funny, and he fights in hard ways--how can you write a letter while you're fighting? That is particularly what I mean by panache.

The first scene where Valvert (Jason Peregoy) was fighting Cyrano--that was the "dink scene," as I call it. I call it the "dink scene" because one of the most funny lines was "dink." So Cyrano was fighting with Valvert, and he is composing a poem, and then--suddenly--Cyrano very quietly, the slightest bit of stabbing, he stabs him and "dink." He stabbed him and the "dink" was like he had just made a tiny little dent in him. Ligniere (Mike Smith) barges in and says "That was awesome!" and he just keeps trying to imitate Cyrano. He kept going "ching, ching, dink!" twice--and it was so funny.

The ninja scene is where Cyrano is fighting ninjas that just barge in suddenly. In the play he is supposed to be fighting off one hundred people, but he actually isn't. They give you a very good feeling that you are actually seeing one hundred people being fought. It is a mystery to me how they made it seem like there were one hundred people; there were only twelve people (Justin Verstraete, Meredith Lyons, Jon Beal, Marty Dubin, Megan Schemmel, Jennifer Betancourt, Jack Miggins, Aaron Kirby, Glenn Stanton, Shane Brady, Mike Smith, and Jason Peregoy). He fought each person like ten times. I liked the ninja scene a lot--that was my favorite scene. They've all surrounded him, and then Cyrano says, "Well you want to play this way, do you?" He gets every single sword that surrounds him like a xylophone. And he just hit all the swords in one slice. I thought that was amazingly cool.

This is one of my favorite scenes because it is hilarious. In this scene Christian is talking to Roxanne, and he did a very very very bad job because he doesn't have very much poetry like I said in the first paragraph. She said, "So tell me what you have to say," and he said, "I love you." And then she said, "Tell me more," and then he said, "I love you." "Tell me more than that." Then he said, "I love you so much." And then she said, "Get more into it." And then he said: "I will unfold my lips onto your mouth." And that did not go well. When he tried to kiss her she fell off the piano, which they happened to be sitting on. And that had to hurt.

In the balcony scene, Christian comes and Cyrano is trying to tell him what to say to Roxanne. And Cyrano says, "Say her name." And then Christian says "What?" Then Cyrano says, "Say her name!" and then Christian says, "Her name. Yeah." Then Cyrano says, "Roxanne!" Then Christian says "ROXANNE!" And then Roxanne is like "What?!" and she looks down. And then Cyrano comes and says, "We better switch." And then he says very poetic things. And then he says, "There is one last thing I would like to have of you." And then Christian says "a kiss!" Then Cyrano says, "Shut up, Christian" through pursed lips. Cyrano says, "I was contradicting myself for going too far." I thought this scene was really funny because Christian is really bad at poetry, but he is trying to say what Cyrano is telling him, but he can't actually do it. This scene is kind of scary because you think Roxanne is going to be angry at Cyrano if she finds out that he is at the bottom. You feel bad for Cyrano because he loved Roxanne and he plays a sad song and Christian gets to go up and kiss her.

There was this funny scene where the Spanish came in and he said "Parlez-vous Francais?" and they just kept standing there with the swords pointed at him. Then he said, "Parlez-vous Espanol?" And then they like nodded their heads and he keeps writing and he says, "Oh crap. Ahhhhhhh!" because he is trying to kill them because they are against the Spanish in that time. He keeps trying to write the letter while they are fighting. But writing the letter works out very badly while he is fighting because someone is too excited about fighting than writing a letter about love.

Finally Christian decides to let Cyrano marry Roxanne because in a letter she said that she would love him even if he was amazingly ugly. That means she would adore Cyrano. Because Christian dies, Cyrano can't tell Roxanne that he is actually the person she's in love with because Christian is dead and she is really sad. Either way, they don't get to get married will find out in two paragraphs. Christian dies because the Spanish kill him not knowing he is in love with somebody. I thought it was a cool battle until Christian died. Then I hated it because I loved that character. He was hilarious.

When Roxanne heard about Christian's death--that was a sad scene. She went down and cried. And remember when Cyrano kept making her hit the keys on the piano. He was making her feel better. She was very beautiful and smart and lovely and had good taste. She should have chosen Cyrano because he was the only person that she actually liked a lot that was still alive.

In the last scene, Cyrano comes to visit Roxanne with a broken head. He has a big, long, very cool speech, and then he dies. And his last words are, "there's one thing that I will take up to the moon with panache." When it happened I was very touched. I think she actually loves him in the end, but he never actually gets to marry her like he wants to. Everybody in the audience was touched except if the Joker was there. Then he would not be touched, because he is a supervillain. Catwoman and Poison Ivy would because they are more gentle-hearted than others.

Cyrano is for ages 6 and up. The things that might parents have to think twice about are the big kissing scene, the word "shut up," the bloody head, the dying, and the fighting. The things that I think the kids would love are the balcony scene, the song "Panache," and when you first meet Christian. I don't think other kids would be as comfortable with the fighting because I have seen lots of plays with fighting in it. People that would like this show are people who like romantic stuff, poets, duelling, funny stuff, and long noses. You can get poetry-ness if you go to see this play--if you don't already have it. And you can get more if you already have panache.


Kathleen said...

You make me wish:

1) I was 6 and up

2) I could see this play!

missg said...

Great review, Ada! I could definitely use some more poetry-ness and perhaps also a panache!!! You are a great writer and a storyteller too! Love your reviews!!