NEW YORK (PIX11) — James McAvoy, of “X-Men” fame, is returning to the award-winning revival of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” in the title role that he originated in London.
McAvoy’s Cyrano has no plumes, props, or prosthetic nose. The modern concept comes from the mind of director Jamie Lloyd.
He told McAvoy that he was doing Cyrano but without the nose. In every other production, the leading actor wears a prosthetic nose and he was a little taken aback about that suggestion.
But Lloyd said the nose is left to the imagination; everything else has to be in the imagination and what that does is put the emphasis on the language. Cyrano seduces in raps and rhymes, using his linguistic mastery to help another man, Christian, win the heart of his one true love Roxanne.
She is a woman for now, and Evelyn Miller who is cast in the role says it’s a real gift to be playing the character.
Performing in Brooklyn has taken the experience to another level for McAvoy and the entire cast. He says the Brooklyn audience seems to understand the sadness and the profundity of the loneliness so much more than they did in the United Kingdom.
And that has been a real revelation. He said it’s been quite moving because you can hear a pin drop. McAvoy also noted the perks of playing for a more localized audience. He said he could stop at the store on his way to work and people would come up and tell him they enjoyed the show the night before.
Lloyd, meanwhile, said being a Brit in New York is like being on a movie set.
It is the first time in America for Eben Figueiredo, who plays Christian. And he said it exceeds all his expectations. He grew up loving rap and poetry and having a script like this really engages him on a personal level.
The relationships have also been reimagined. It is very intimate, very cheeky, very playful — it’s more like brotherly love.
And the physicality has changed as well. Said it’s the most physical play he’s been in, and the soldier-warrior part was important to him. Past versions have accentuated the poet part; you kind of forget the play starts with the killing of 400 men. And for McAvoy, it makes the juxtaposition of the poet in him all the more remarkable.