Leonard Bernstein's comedic operetta based on Voltaire's satire of innocence, optimism and the unexpected lessons of life.
A score by legendary Leonard Bernstein is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Candide and its theatrical offerings. With a book from Hugh Wheeler and lyrical contributions from the incomparable Stephen Sondheim, Candide is a masterpiece for the ages.
In one lightning-paced act, Candide – the bastard cousin of Baron Thunder-Ten-Tonck – is expelled from home, dragged into the Bulgarian army, brought before the Spanish Inquisition, swindled out of a fortune, shipwrecked on a desert isle and separated time and again from his true love, Cunegonde. She, too, bears a barrage of misfortunes, including – but not limited to – sale into prostitution, forced marriage to an exorbitantly wealthy man and slavery. Through it all, however, they try to remember the lessons of their dear master, Dr. Pangloss: "Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds."
With riotous wit, Candide is a wondrous piece for nearly any company. Scenically it can be as grand or as simple as the designer sees fit and, likewise, requires a cast of only moderate size that can be easily expanded to accommodate the grandest of ensembles. Candide is the ideal blend of sophisticated operetta and wacky Python-esque comedy, and will surely thrill a wide range of theatergoers.