Once upon a time, a female writer met a male artist and was dazzled by his amazing talent and beautiful hands. Alas, he told her that he could never love her because she was “too short.” With no choice but to accept this, she left him and returned to her home. But one night at one a.m., she sat straight up in her bed and spoke one word…”Cyrano!” Believe it or not, there had never been a female “Cyrano de Bergerac”, because it’s rude to call a woman “ugly”…but you can call her “crippled.”
(A cane is tossed on stage. She catches it.)
She can have Multiple Sclerosis and be six inches too short. And thus, I was born…Siriana D. Bergmann…Professor of English Literature at New York University. Now, how do you adapt the rest of the roles, you may ask? Well, let Le Bret still be my best friend, but make him a lady called “The Brit”. Ragueneau, the French boulanger is now Raganno, the Italian baker. Ligniere has been redubbed Lee Genet. The Count De Guiche can be equally evil as Ceci Guisse. Montfleury has become Maria Flowers and the handsome Christian De Neuvillette, Cyrano’s rival, is now the beautiful Chrissie Newsome, the little bitch who steals my man. And then, there’s the biggest challenge…a male equivalent of Cyrano’s secret love…Roxane….
(Light up stage right on Roxy, painting on an easel.)
Oblivious to all but art and beauty; he knows that he, too, is beautiful. Women inspire him both on the canvas and in the bed. Setting the play in 1996 not only removes it from the distractions of computers and cell phones but puts the scenario in an age where one can be careless and superficial…and identified by a graffiti tag. Take the name, Robert Xavier Yeager and voila! The hip and dazzling moniker: “Roxy.” So begins our play, with a salute to the master, Monsieur Rostand.
It’s time to exchange facts with sweet fiction,
Let all hopeless realities just die.
Make the heartaches into actors’ diction
And jump into bed with her pretty lie.
All will live and none will face demise.
We’ll show it more poetic than it was.
We will attempt to make mere Fools seem wise,
Victims of Fate, not of the mind’s mad buzz.
As for her, the ink stained Lady Playwright,
She vows to show her heart so pathetic,
Her brain blinded over the senses’ light.
And her eyes dazzled by the romantic.
Her one hope is to make some drama free.
And be half as skillful an artist as he.