Will Open Goodman Theatre’s 10th year in Chicago’s Theatre DistrictÂ Â Â Â Â Â
Nearly 30Â songs in LeonardÂ Bernstein’s Triumphant Score include â€œCandide Overture”, â€œGlitter and be Gayâ€, â€œThe Best of all Possible Worlds”, andÂ â€œMake Our Garden Grow”Â
Chicago, ILÂ – Goodman Theatre celebrates its 10th season in Chicago’s North Loop Theatre District with a fresh take on an enduring masterpiece – Candide, Voltaire’s effervescent, picaresque adventure, newly adapted and directed by Chicago’s own Mary Zimerman, theÂ Goodmanâ€™s Manilow Resident Director. A cast of 19 and an orchestra of 12, under the direction of Music Director Doug Peck, bring to life nearly 30 songs in Leonard Bernsteinâ€™s glorious score, and recreate Voltaireâ€™s satirical story of Candide (Geoff Packard)â€”a young optimist shipwrecked, soldiered, swindled and separated (repeatedly) from his true love, Cunegonde (Lauren Molina). For this major revival, Zimmerman has tapped her signature design teamâ€”Daniel Ostling (Set), Mara Blumenfeld (Costumes), T.J. Gerckens (Lighting) and Richard Woodbury (Sound). Danny Pelzig choreographs the cataclysmic events that ensue. Candide runs September 17 â€“ October 24 in the Albert Theatre; tickets are $25 – $85. JP Morgan Chase & Co. is the Major Corporate Sponsor; ComEd is the Official Lighting Sponsor; Abbott and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP are the Corporate Sponsor Partners. Chicago Tribune and WBEZ 91.5 FM are Media Sponsors. A September 26 Season Opening Benefit takes place at the Art Institute of Chicagoâ€™s Modern Wingâ€”the location of the theaterâ€™s former home of 75 yearsâ€”followed by a performance of Candide. Honored will be those who paved the way for the Goodmanâ€™s new home, making possible its myriad artistic, economic and community engagement achievements. Tickets are $1,000; call 312.443.5564.
â€œMary Zimmermanâ€™s reinvention of Candide represents, to borrow a phrase, â€˜the best of all possible worldsâ€™!â€ said Goodman Artistic Director Robert Falls. â€œHer singular insight and vivid imaginationâ€”as weâ€™ve seen in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, Journey to the West, The Odyssey, Pericles and three highly successful productions for New Yorkâ€™s Metropolitan Opera, among many othersâ€”distinguish Mary as a leading contemporary adapter of classic texts. I am thrilled that she is now bringing her unique artistry to this funny, insightful and irresistibly theatrical workâ€”a glorious way to launch our 10th anniversary on Dearborn Street.â€
As previously announced, the cast of Goodman Theatreâ€™s production of Candide features Geoff Packard in the title role; Lauren Molina as his princess love, Cunegonde; Larry Yando as Candideâ€™s mentor, Pangloss; Hollis Resnik as the Old Lady; Jonathan Weir as the Governor; Erik Lochtefeld as Maximillian; Margo Seibert as Paquette; Jesse J. Perez as Cacambo and Tom Aulino as Martin. Ensemble members include Spencer Curnutt, Rebecca Finnegan, Govind Kumar, Rob Lindley, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Emma Rosenthal, Thomas Adrian Simpson, Joey Stone, Tempe Thomas and Joseph Tokarz. Visit the Goodman Theatre Press Room for photos and bios.
â€œCandide is exquisite entertainment, a blend of opera, comedy, travel adventure and romance,” said Adaptor and Director Mary Zimmerman, whose major revival for the Goodman will be made using her signature style of collaboration with her company and creative team. “Its gorgeous music and lyrical wit act as proof of the very best potential of human beings and the beauty of this lifeâ€”while at the same instant, the story is revealing some of the worst and most difficult aspects of that life.”
Candide chronicles, in lightning-fast progression, the story of a young man banished from his home, drafted into the Bulgarian army and forced to endure relentless disaster. Voltaireâ€™s satiric genius is found in Candideâ€™s earnest attempts to trivialize the tragedy and uphold the contention of his mentor, Dr. Pangloss, that all things happen for the best in this â€˜best of all possible worldsâ€™. Although Candideâ€™s journey is described with humor, Voltaire raises serious questions: How can mankind deal with disaster without surrendering to despair? Can optimism prevail in a world that frequently seems randomly cruel? How is survival itself possible in an environment that often gleefully refutes Panglossâ€™s hopeful axiom?
About Mary Zimmermanâ€™s Adaptation
Few modern musicals have enjoyed the extensive exploration and reexamination that Candide has in the years following its 1956 Broadway debut. Mary Zimmerman, â€œa specialist in literary spectacle (from whom) theatrical fireworks are expectedâ€ (The New York Times), has opted to create a new book for this production by returning afresh to Voltaireâ€™s original 1759 Candide, Or Optimism. She has ordered the sequence of events in Candideâ€™s adventureâ€”many of which had been altered for previous productionsâ€”to align more closely with the novellaâ€™s original structure.
Music Director Doug Peck has tailored Bernsteinâ€™s score for the cast of 19 and orchestra of 12, â€œwrapping the music around Maryâ€™s adaptation, blending Bernstein and Voltaire in a way that emphasizes them both.â€ Audiences will be treated to such popular songs as â€œCandide Overture,â€ â€œThe Best of All Possible Worlds,â€ â€œIt Must Be So,â€ â€œI Am Easily Assimilated,â€ â€œWe Are Women,â€ â€œMy Love,â€ â€œQuiet,â€ and the heartfelt finale, â€œMake Our Garden Grow.â€ Bernsteinâ€™s score reflects a variety of classical influences, including Mozart and Verti (â€œAuto-da-fÃ©â€), Gilbert and Sullivan (â€œBon Voyageâ€), Gounodâ€™s Faust (â€œGlitter and Be Gayâ€) and even Schoenberg (â€œQuietâ€).
â€œWith Candide, Bernstein composed something wholly unusual; the singing style is more complex and challenging than most musicals,â€ said Peck, who bases his orchestrations on those used in the Royal National Theatreâ€™s production, and uses underscoring for scenes that Zimmerman selected from the novella but that were never set to music.
About Leonard Bernstein and the History of Candide
â€œThere is more of me in that piece than anything else I have ever done.â€ (Leonard Bernstein, on Candide)
The idea for musicalizing Voltaireâ€™s novella came to Bernstein and playwright Lillian Hellman in the midst of the anti-Communist Congressional purges of the early 1950s; both agreed that the political excesses of 18th century France mirrored the assault on individual rights that they were experiencing. Collaborating with lyricist John Latouche, Hellman and Bernstein began work in 1954, eventually involving young poet Richard Wilbur as lyricist, and Dorothy Parker and James Agee contributing to the book, as well. Candide premiered on Broadway in 1956. The showâ€™s cast recording attracted a cult following among musical theater aficionados, but few new productions were attempted until 1974, when director Harold Prince created a new version of the show for Brooklynâ€™s Chelsea Theater Center. Hugh Wheeler created a new book which emphasized the loopy humor of Voltaireâ€™s satire. In 1982, again under Princeâ€™s direction, the New York City Opera presented a greatly expanded Candide, and Prince revived Candide on Broadway in an opulent 1997 production. A year later, British director/playwright John Caird created another new iteration of the show for a production at Londonâ€™s Royal National Theatre. Although Bernsteinâ€™s score remained intact, both Sondheim and Wilbur provided slightly revised lyrics for some songs. A 2004 semi-staged New York Philharmonic concert version starred Kristin Chenoweth as Cunegonde and Patti LuPone as the Old Lady. In honor of the showâ€™s 50th anniversary in 2006, Candide was revived at Parisâ€™ ThÃ©Ã¢tre du ChÃ¢telet and at La Scala in Milan.
Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 â€“ October 14, 1990) was a world-renowned musician, conductor and composer throughout his entire adult life. He was Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and conducted the world’s major orchestras, recording hundreds of these performances. His books and the televised Young Peopleâ€™s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic established him as a leading educator. His compositions include Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety, Kaddish, Serenade, Five Anniversaries, Mass, Chichester Psalms, Slava!, Songfest, Divertimento for Orchestra, Missa Brevis, Arias and Barcarolles, Concerto for Orchestra and A Quiet Place. Bernstein composed for the Broadway musical stage, including On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and the immensely popular West Side Story. In addition to their West Side Story collaboration, Bernstein worked with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets, Fancy Free, Facsimile and Dybbuk. Bernstein was the recipient of many honors, including the Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater, 11 Emmy Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Tickets to Candide are on sale now. Call 312.443.3800, click GoodmanTheatre.org or visit the box office (170 North Dearborn). Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office, and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone. Valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets. Limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820.