Once again, I find myself compelled to write about actor Steve Hendrickson's natural grace and stage brilliance. I have no financial interest in Hendrickson's acting career, so let's be done with suspicion and consider his splendid work as Cyrano de Bergerac in a Ten Thousand Things production spilling over with swashbuckling chivalry and heart-rending pathos...
￼...Hendrickson strikes into Cyrano's inflated confidence and verbal dexterity with the panache of a pro wrestler. Mere mortals pose no challenge to his razor tongue and wit, and Hendrickson lets fly these lacerating ripostes with a fluency that coats the jagged edges. Simply by posing, bearing sword and word, his prowess commands the scene...
... As easy as this swagger comes to Hendrickson's portrayal, his countenance can fall in the twinkling of an eye, plunging him into Cyrano's deep well of vulnerability.
It's one thing to see a good play. It's another thing entirely to watch the transformative power of theater demonstrated right in front of you, and that's what happened at the opening of Ten Thousand Things' Cyrano de Bergerac.
...And it's here that Steve Hendrickson delivers Cyrano's heartbreaking speech about the strange weight of the heart and being consigned to stand outside a lovers' feast. The women, momentarily caught up in Roxane and Christian's kanoodling, are still chuckling away, but eventually their attention turns to Cyrano's quiet misery. As the speech continues, their laughter quiets and their smiles fade. In a minute or so, they've gone from hysterics to the brink of tears.
...That kind of powerful transition speaks to the astounding skill, presence and emotional integrity that Hendrickson brings to the role — you'd willingly follow this tragic hero into whatever battle he took you — but also to the overarching sense of immediacy that director Michelle Hensley and the rest of her company bring to this staging.
November 14, 2004
A SERIOUS 'CYRANO'
From the moment he struts onstage and verbally undresses a pompous hack actor, Cyrano de Bergerac comes alive in the jaunty, soulful interpretation of actor Steven Hendrickson. Panache, that was Cyrano's game in Edmond Rostand's classic story, and Hendrickson expresses every shade of chivalry, gallantry, bravery, soulful sacrifice and regret. This lovely production of "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Ten Thousand Things refreshes an appreciation for Rostand's elegance in the telling of a character who demurs from the woman he loves and then selflessly provides the words for another man to woo her. Hendrickson never leaves the center of our imagination and appreciation.