Thursday, November 1, 2007

Panache Lite

If you ever want to see a show where the TV actors are in one play and the theatre actor is in another play, then you should go to see Kevin Kline in Cyrano.

And I do mean see Kevin Kline. Which means you shouldn't see it like I did, by sitting in the absolute last row of the second balcony. No, spring for something a little closer to the stage, where you can actually see and hear Kline work.

It's not that Jennifer Garner and Daniel Sunjata are bad, actually. But because, like most of the cast, they speak in Theatre Voice, they can't say "Hello" without trying to give it two or three deep meanings at once. (Bonus points to the actor playing LeBret, who delivers the line "What are you trying to tell me?" by declaiming "WHAT! Are you trying to TELL ME!!!") The overall effect is reminiscent of one of those British imports where the RSC star does the lead and all the other parts are played by the equivalent of recent Juilliard grads, or this year's crop of Yaliens.

And then there's Kline (also a Yalien), who's quiet, subtle and sticks out like a sore thumb (or a huge nose). The odd thing is, it's Kline who's acting for the cameras, while everybody else is acting for people five blocks away. Usually in productions of Cyrano, the lead is the only one performing for the entire play. In this production? He's the only one acting.

And by the way. "Neuvillette" is not pronounced "NERV-uh-let." It's "Ner-vuh-YET." He's French, okay?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree but for one point: Really, it IS like Garner and Sunjata are bad. Garner has some comic timing supporting her, but mostly she's got that overbite and legginess men like, and that's it. She's not as bad as Sunjata (who doesn't understand a word he barks), but she's certainly not playing Roxane. A word or two on the non-leads: Sarandon and Tomei are theatre pros and do their jobs very well.