I’ve mentioned a time or twenty-five that I love Alias. I’ve carried this love so far as to see The Paris Letter in New York, even though the Broadway cast did not include Neil Patrick Harris, because it starred Ron Rifkin, aka Arvin Sloane. The play was actually interesting, but that wouldn’t have mattered. With a primary cast member from Alias, my ticket purchase is guaranteed.
So it was with Cyrano de Bergerac. It does not star a primary cast member of Alias. During its 10-week run, it stars THE primary cast member of Alias,
Sydney Bristow Jennifer Garner.
I purchased tickets the morning they went on sale for the first weekend, which happens to be this weekend. The show is in previews for the first two weeks, which meant there would potentially be “issues” with the show. That didn’t matter. Jennifer Garner. I’d pay to watch dress rehearsal, which turned out to be kinda what we saw. As Danielle recapped today:
… Kevin Kline basically carries the whole show, and is marvelous, but one man can’t carry an entire Anthony Burgess adaptation of the classic tale, y’know? At several points, when Kline wasn’t on stage or speaking, I felt like I was watching a high school theater club. After one scene change, the translucent curtain got caught and the entire production had to stop for ten minutes so some crew guys could come out and fix it. Quite hilarious and a first for me. We think we even caught Jennifer Garner starting to laugh. Even with all of its missteps and faults, the audience rose to their feet for curtain call, cheering Kline’s worthy performance.
Basically, the show is a disaster in its current form, despite the presence of Kevin Kline. The opening scenes desperately need a trim. The cast needs to act with each other rather than at each other. Someone needs to figure out how to operate the curtain. And so on.
But Jennifer Garner! And being a Broadway play, two more words come into play: stage door. I did not get an autograph like I recently managed from Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal while they performed in their return to Rent, but being up close was worth driving to New York to spend barely six hours in the city.