Candide

Savoyards Musical Theatre, Ltd. will perform Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Hangar Theatre: 8:00 PM Friday, September 16; 8:00 PM Saturday, September 17; and 2:00 PM Sunday, September 18. Tickets are $22 for regular admission, $17 for students, and $12 for children. Hangar subscribers receive a 10% discount. For reservations, call 607.273.ARTS or online at HangerTheatre.org.

Based on Voltaire’s satire on mindless optimism, Candide features one of the most beautiful scores ever composed for Broadway, a frothy blend of American popular and European classical music. The show’s overture and such numbers as “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow” are favorites with concertgoers. “No other musical comedy is more energetic or entertaining,” said critic Andrew Porter, “or touches upon more serious and important matters.”

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Candide has gone through many incarnations. When Hal Prince directed the show in 1973, he conceived it as “a sideshow at the circus” and dispersed the stage action onto a network of platforms that spilled into the audience. For this production, director Gary Moulsdale has concentrated the action within a small on-stage space, a kind of European nightclub of the early 1960s.

“Voltaire’s characters are patrons of the nightclub, and they are also themselves,” explains Moulsdale, who teaches voice at SUNY Cortland and Cornell University. “Most of the supporting speaking roles are taken by the staff of the nightclub. We gather the action in this way so that our audience can hear well a question Candide asks—‘What is kindness but a lie?’—and can also see, in the rest of our production, our answer.”

The cast features Andrew Hudson-Sabens as Candide, Karen Wonder Dumont as Cunegonde, Sarah Welden as Paquette, Nick Roscoe as Maximillian, Lisa Frank as the Old Lady, Doug Matthews as Dr. Pangloss, Ryan Mewhorter as the Governor, Jorge Guevara as the Captain, and Kevin Harris as the Judge. Servers Maggi Chauby and Annelise Smith and bouncers Anthony Curran and Peter Magnus play multiple roles. Anthony Di Renzo as Voltaire narrates the story. Keehun Nam conducts a 13-piece orchestra. Katrina Kuka directs the vocal ensemble. Ellen Jackson serves as assistant director. Costumes are designed by Liz Woods.

Candide is presented though special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI (www.MTIshows.com). Local sponsors for this production include CSP Management, CFCU Community Credit Union, Tompkins Trust Company, Roscoe Brothers, Inc, Rawlings Construction, and The Savage Club.

 

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