DMT Presents CANDIDE, Now thru 11/30
The Douglas Morrisson Theatre continues its 35th Season with the musical CANDIDE, Royal National Theatre Version, with music by Leonard Bernstein, book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler, in a new version by John Caird; and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein. Featuring Leonard Bernstein's soaring score and lyrics from some of the wittiest writers of all time, this rollicking musical satire chronicles the lives and loves of Candide, a simple soul whose glass is always half-full.
Candide will have 15 performances, including one preview, tonight, Nov. 6, through November 30, 2014, at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre, 22311 N. Third St. in Hayward, CA. Tickets are $10-$29, and are available through the Box Office at (510) 881-6777 or online at www.dmtonline.org.
DMT's production features an ensemble of local performers: Andy Ramirez as Candide, Angela Jarosz as Cunegonde, Geoff Colton as Pangloss, Tina Marzell as the Old Woman, Anna Joham as Paquette, Johnny Villar as Maximilian and Tom Reilly as Voltaire.
Candide is a musical/operetta based on the 1759 novel by Voltaire, Candide, or Optimism. One of the most celebrated examples of the genre of satire in modern literature, Voltaire's picaresque novella satirized the fashionable philosophies of his day and, especially, the Catholic church. Candide, Cunegonde, Paquette, Maximilian, Dr. Pangloss and the old lady with one buttock survive numerous calamities but never give up their search for truth in this "best of all possible worlds." Candide travels far and wide, from Westphalia, to Bavaria, Holland, Paris, Vienna, Portugal, Spain, Paraguay, El Dorado, Surinam, Tunisia, Venice and, finally, the Carnian mountains of Italy. Mentally, he bounces back and forth between the philosophies of optimism and pessimism, and, ultimately, lands in neither universe. In the last song, Make Our Garden Grow, Candide sums up what he has learned:
Life is neither good nor bad
Life is life and all we know
Good and bad and joy and woe
Are woven fine
We'll do the best we know
HISTORY OF CANDIDE, THE MUSICAL
Candide has enjoyed a complex and somewhat checkered history, involving numerous changes to score and libretto. In 1953, the celebrated playwright Lillian Hellman suggested to Leonard Bernstein that they adapt Voltaire's Candide for the musical theater. The original version of Candide opened on Broadway on December 1, 1956, with a book by Hellman, music by Bernstein, and lyrics by poet Richard Wilbur, John Latouche and Dorothy Parker. The production featured a distinguished cast, including future Broadway legend Barbara Cook as Cunegonde. But the show ran only 73 performances, and 18 years elapsed before the show headed back to Broadway.
For the 1973 production, Hugh Wheeler crafted a new libretto, as well as a revised score and new lyrics, along with Stephen Sondheim. Harold Prince's staging surrounded the audience with the action. The production subsequently transferred to Broadway in March, 1974. More revisions ensued. New versions premiered with the New York City Opera in 1982 and with the Scottish Opera in 1988. Bernstein's "final revised version," which Bernstein himself conducted in concert form, was recorded in 1989.
DMT presents John Caird's 1999 Royal National Theatre adaptation which also included new lyrics from Richard Wilbur. Caird returned to Voltaire's original satirical novel, expanded on the one-act 1973 version, added characters, rearranged scenes and restored songs that had been cut from subsequent versions. Leonard Bernstein once said that there was more of himself in his musical Candide than in any of his other famed works, including West Side Story.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Leonard Bernstein (1918- 1990) was an internationally celebrated musician, conductor, composer, educator, humanitarian and one of the most influential figures in music in the 20th century. He served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic for over a decade, and conducted with some of the world's major orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. Throughout his life, Bernstein placed great emphasis on education, especially of young people, performing "Young People's Concerts" for over 14 seasons. Compositions include Symphonies No. 1, 2 and 3 (Jeremiah, The Age of Anxiety, Kaddish); Serenade, Five Anniversaries, Chichester Psalms, Songfest, Divertimento for Orchestra, Missa Brevis, Arias and Barcarolles and Concerto for Orchestra. His stage musicals include On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide, and the hugely popular West Side Story. In addition to West Side Story, Bernstein also collaborated with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: Fancy Free, Facsimile, and Dybbuk. His numerous honors and awards included the Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Theatre, 11 Emmy Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, induction into the American Society of Arts and Letters and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Michael Mohammed has received acclaim as a director, choreographer, and performer. Directing credits: The Full Monty (ACT, MFA program), X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X (Oakland Opera Theater), Wilde Boys (New Conservatory Theater, BACC winner: Best Musical), The Unsung Diva (NY Fringe Festival), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera On Tap) and Carmen (Mendocino Music Festival). Performing credits: Little Truth (The Great Big Also, Mugwumpin), Mitch (The 25th Annual...Bee, Busbarn Theater), and Sister (Marat/Sade, Thrillpeddlers). He is the Director of the Musical Theatre Ensemble at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and on faculty at the Community Music Center.
David Möschler is an award-winning freelance conductor and musical director based in the San Francisco Bay Area, making his Douglas Morrisson Theatre debut with Candide. Recent musical direction credits include West Edge Opera (Hydrogen Jukebox), San Jose Rep (One Night with Janis Joplin), Shotgun Players (Woyzeck, Assassins, The Threepenny Opera), Ray of Light Theatre (Into The Woods, Assassins), Broadway by the Bay (Evita), Center REPertory Company (Spring Awakening), Berkeley Repertory Theatre (multiple projects for The Ground Floor), as well as the last thirteen productions for YMTC Berkeley where he serves as their first Resident Music Director. This fall, Möschler's work can also be seen at SF Playhouse (Promises, Promises) followed by the west coast premiere of Mr. Burns at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Winner of two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards as well as The American Prize for Conducting, Möschler also founded the Bay Area-based Awesöme Orchestra Collective, which he conducts every month. For more information visit www.davidmoschler.com.
ABOUT THE DOUGLAS MORRISSON THEATRE
The Douglas Morrisson Theatre is a program and facility of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. The DMT is located at 22311 N. Third St. in Hayward, next to the Senior Center and the Japanese Gardens. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 to 5:30 and can be reached at (510) 881-6777. Information is also available at www.dmtonline.org.