New Book: Real-Life Cyrano Was Gay

The story of Cyrano de Bergerac has inspired a classic play by Rostand — recently done beautifully on Broadway by Kevin Kline (pictured) — and countless movies (my favorite is a 1990 version with Gerard Depardieu). The center of the fictional tale, apart from that legendary schozz, is Cyrano’s heartbreaking love for his cousin Roxane. Well, guess what? The real-life Cyrano — a highly accomplished swordsman and writer who flourished in 17th-century France — was gay. At least that’s what we’re told in a new book, and, according to at least one serious review, the case made for his homosexuality is highly persuasive. (I wonder if Roxane knew — but chose Cyrano anyway. I mean, come on: he was an artist and an action hero. She could always screw Christian on the side.) The gay tale would make for a wonderful comedy/drama: perhaps, in a tip of the plumed hat to another movie Cyrano, “The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” the play could be called “The Truth About Dogs and Dogs.” The adult version: “The Bigger the Nose…” or “Swordmaster.” And the musical version (not to be confused with the indelible show starring Christopher Plummer) would have to be titled: “Panache!” Hugh Jackman, are you reading this?

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