Red hot lover: PHS’s Cyrano opens to acclaim

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Audience members enjoyed the opening night of the Cyrano de Bergerac theater production by the Portales High School students on Thursday night, but the actors still feel like they could do better.

More than 150 people showed up to watch the students perform in the Cyrano de Bergerac play, directed by Bill Strong, the Portales theater teacher.

High school students acted out the love story of man with hideous looks who falls in love with Roxane played by Amy Flen. Richard O’Hare played the part of Cyrano and Chris Jarvis played the part of Christian de Neuvillette.

“It was fantastic,” O’Hare said of the performance. “This is what I love to do. It was a really amazing feeling to be the star.”

O’Hare said he acted in another play last year, but only had a small role in it. O’Hare agreed with Jarvis’ assessment of the students’ performances. Jarvis and O’Hare said the performances were good, but there’s still room for improvement.

“It (the play) was better than expected,” Jarvis said. “It still could have been better. We could work on our lines better and our improvisations could use some improvement.”

Those in attendance said none the less they were impressed with the performance from the Portales students.

“I enjoyed the whole play,” Vickie Linthicum, a Portales resident, said. “I was impressed with their lines and the multiple parts they learned and played. Opening night was not bad at all. They did a good job and they looked like they had a lot of fun.”

Therese Carlson said she enjoyed the production also and said it was a good and funny performance.

Iva Collins of Portales said she sat next to first-grader Caleb Vigil and watched Caleb’s face of amazement while he watched Shawn Vigil’s acting. Shawn, a Portales junior, is the older brother of Caleb.

“I think it was real exciting,” Collins said. “I find it fascinating that they’re able to do a good job with the language and the accents in the voices. They were enthusiastic.”

Collins said the dinner before the play added something enjoyable to the whole experience. She said she also liked the actors’ costumes.

“I’m impressed that they could put on a play of this caliber and memorize the lines,” Gay Strong said. Gay Strong said she enjoyed all of the performances from the students. “Cyrano (O’Hare) was marvelous.”

Gay Strong said she enjoyed the sword duel in the first act titled “A Performance at the Hotel de Bourgogne” the most out of all of the scenes.

Flen said her favorite scene to act in was the scene in which Jarvis’ character, Christian, died. Flen acted like she was crying during the scene.

“I get to portray my dramatic side the most,” Flen said. “It was not too difficult (to cry) after I’ve been doing it for so long in practice. It gets easier for you.”

There will be another Cyrano de Bergerac performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday and again at 2 p.m. on Sunday.