Photos: Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan Narrate Philadelphia Orchestra Performance of Candide

Thanks to the Philadelphia Orchestra for sending me these photos and copy. So bummed I can’t make any of the performances as I am already booked each night, but you can still see the show as it plays two more times, tonight and tomorrow night.

In a capstone to our Leonard Bernstein centenary celebration, we present his quirky, complex, irreverent, and very humorous operetta Candide, with orchestral staging. First performed in 1956, the work has come into its own in recent decades, thanks to Bernstein’s endless musical inventiveness and collaborators from Stephen Sondheim to Dorothy Parker (and of course, Voltaire, who wrote the original story, published in 1759).

(L-R) Alek Shrader (Candide), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), Carey Mulligan (Narrator), Bradley Cooper (Narrator)

Stage Director Kevin Newbury set the production in 1992, unfolding in a high-school classroom and inspired by films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dazed and Confused. The characters are portrayed as the archetypes of early-1990s high-school life: Candide as the bookish nerd, Cunegonde as the ambitious head cheerleader, Paquette as the introverted goth, and Maximilian as the flamboyant drama club president. The story traces how these characters change from naïve teenagers to expectant graduates.

Curtis Bannister (Ensemble Member), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), Daniel Rowan (Baron), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Erin Morley (Cunegonde), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Yannick Nézet-Séguin(from left to right) Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Amanda Lynn Bottoms (Paquette), Brittany Bigelow (Ensemble Member), William Burden (Governor), Isabel Santiago (Baroness), Daniel Rowan (Baron)
(from left to right) Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Denyce Graves (The Old Lady), Ward Billeisen (Ensemble Member), Nicholas Cunningham (Ensemble Member), Alek Shrader (Candide), Erin Morley (Cunegonde), and Curtis Bannister (Ensemble Member)
(from left to right) Merdith Lustig (Ensemble Member), Brittany Bigelow (Ensemble Member), Benjamin Krumreig (Ensemble Member), Daniel Rowan (Baron), Kevin Vortmann (Dr. Pangloss), Amanda Lynn Bottoms (Paquette), Alek Shrader (Candide), Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Erin Morley (Cunegonde), Denyce Graves (The Old Lady), Timothy McDevitt (Maximilian), William Burden (Governor)

A few tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday night shows.

This blog entry is dedicated to my friend Scott Righter, who passed away earlier this week and we will be sending home tonight.