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