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Candide at the Coliseum

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Weez
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Candide at the Coliseum#1
Posted: 6/12/08 at 5:38pm
Found this amusing snippet in my mum's newspaper:

"The English National Opera's new production of Candide - Voltaire's satire on humanity's shortcoming - includes a scene in which a dancer representing Gordon Brown is seen prancing in Union Jack-patterned underwear. 'Perhaps the prime minister will come along and watch himself,' titters an ENO spokesman. 'We have no comment to make on the Prime Minister being impersonated by a man in underpants,' harrumphs a No 10 spokesman."

I'll be interested to see why they've felt the need to include Gordon Brown! Who else is going to this one?
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#2
Posted: 6/12/08 at 6:44pm
I still haven't bought my ticket, but will try and get to London to see this. I have the Paris production on DVD after it was shown on BBC4 a year or two back and it's very different to most of the productions before it - much more politically slanted. They bring out a load of world leaders at one point; Bush, Putin and Blair amongst them. It'll be interesting to compare with the televised version....

"Murder is a very British thing, isn't it? I mean, it's almost like a hobby over there."
"Why do you insist you must hear the words? When you know I cannot give you words. Not the ones you need..."

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re: Candide at the Coliseum#2
Posted: 6/13/08 at 5:31pm
I'm seeing it in July and it does look like an interesting production.

Maggie Thatcher went to Anyone For Dennis and I'm sure she'd even be amused at her portrayal in Billy Elliott, but I don't think grumpy Gordon will be going to this. Naturally he's far too busy working to protect us all from the bursting of the economic bubble he has created over the last decade.
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#3
Posted: 6/13/08 at 5:39pm
I remember Maggie going to 'Anyone For Dennis?' A fab play that toured for 3 years with some great ladies playing Maggie inc Janet Brown (huge 1980s impressionist), Angela Thorne (To The Manor Born). I'M sure Maggie made 2 or 3 visits taking along different friends.
Now, this was recorded for ITV. That I would love to have a copy of!
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#4
Posted: 6/19/08 at 7:14pm
Lonnie Price's staged concert version, starring Kristin C is absolutely hilarious, and available on DVD. I highly recommend it!
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#5
Posted: 6/25/08 at 5:00pm
Has anyone seen this yet? My boss has given me a few freebies for saturday night, He says that it's not his cup of tea. This coming from the man who enjoyed Gone with the Wind. I'm saying nothing.
Updated On: 6/25/08 at 05:00 PM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#6
Posted: 6/25/08 at 6:37pm
He liked 'Gone With The Wind', he doesn't fancy 'Candide'. As one who didn't enjoy GWTW, that makes 'Candide' sound all right to me. ^_^ I'm going Saturday afternoon, so won't be back here in time to tell you how it is, but I've read excellent things so far.

I splashed out money for an upper circle seat for this, rather than suffer the agony that is a cheap balcony seat. PLEASE tell me upper circle has more comfortable seats than the balcony. I don't think I could take sitting in seats like those again. I'd rather stand for the duration of 'Henry VI'. All three parts! XD
Updated On: 6/25/08 at 06:37 PM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#7
Posted: 6/25/08 at 7:21pm
I'm at the front of the dress circle, but i have been in the upper circle before at the Coliseum and from what I remember they were fine even with my abnormally long legs. Uusally i watch a lot of theatre with legs around my head. Thats fine for a lot of things but not two and a half hours watching a show. Damn i've said too much. i need sleep
Updated On: 6/25/08 at 07:21 PM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#8
Posted: 6/27/08 at 5:19pm
"He says that it's not his cup of tea. This coming from the man who enjoyed Gone with the Wind."

Your boss has issues! It's a good job he doesn't post on here! We'd be feeding him to the metaphorical West End Board dog.
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#9
Posted: 6/27/08 at 8:20pm
Looking forward to going to the Colesium to see West Side Story, one of the theatres in London I have nolt been to, what is it like as a venue?
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#10
Posted: 6/27/08 at 8:26pm
Don't sit in the cheap seats. I have never sat in more uncomfortable seats in my LIFE. They're small, and hard, and there's an uncomfortable forward lean. When you're watching something great like 'On The Town', you can ignore the pain. When you're watching something less great like 'Kismet', it's agonising (although it's hard to tell how much of the agony was from the seats and how much was from the show).

Other than that, I think it's okay. It's HUGE. The really expensive seats are very comfortable, but they are really expensive. I'm in the second cheapest seats for 'Candide' tomorrow this afternoon, so I shall report back on how comfortable they are when I get home. ^_^
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#11
Posted: 6/28/08 at 7:30am
'West Side Story' isnt playing the Coli its playing Sadlers Wells
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#12
Posted: 6/28/08 at 6:47pm
My butt is TERRIFICALLY pleased to report that the upper circle is INFINITELY more comfortable than the balcony! I am NEVER sitting up there EVER again! ^_^

That is all. :3
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#13
Posted: 6/28/08 at 6:52pm
That can't be all - you've just heard a Bernstein score played by the ENO orchestra?!
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#14
Posted: 6/28/08 at 7:16pm
Okay, that was pretty damn sexy. ENO audiences are slightly better behaved than average audiences, so there was only mild whispering during the overture, and dear GOD but I love a good overture. And that, my friend, was a DAMN FINE overture. :3

I have heard the ENO orchestra do Bernstein before; I think I preferred 'On The Town'. Visually, 'Candide' was stunning, and the cast were great, but I can't help but feel that everyone who had a hand in writing it - from Voltaire right down to the ENO team sticking their fingers in - was on a certain degree of crack. XD

But those seats were just so damn comfy... :3

Updated On: 6/28/08 at 07:16 PM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#15
Posted: 6/29/08 at 6:27am
In my opinion the overture to Candide still has to be one of the best overtures ever, and last's night presentation of it with Saul Bass style opening credits on a massive TV screen was genius.

The show itself will always be a little crackers, and this new version is no exception. Beverley Klein as the Old Lady nearly stole the show and Rob Ashford doesnt seem to putting a foot lately with his choreography. Anna Christy didnt blow me away as much as i'd hoped and her Glitter and be Gay wasnt the best interpretation i've heard, but apart from that pretty amazing.




Candide in Paris
Updated On: 6/29/08 at 06:27 AM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#16
Posted: 6/29/08 at 8:19am
Wait, were you there last night? Yesterday matinee we had Marnie Breckenridge as Cunegonde because Anna Christy had called in sick. It'd be kinda weird if Anna then went on in the evening, especially as the chap announcing the cast change went on at some length about how wonderful it was of Marnie to come in early even though she's not due to start until Wednesday. o_O
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#17
Posted: 6/29/08 at 8:30am
didnt check the cast list last night, but i'm sure it was Anna. She wasnt in the best of voice though, so she may have skipped the matinee and thought she was well enough for the evening show. There was no cast change annoucment either

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re: Candide at the Coliseum#18
Posted: 7/13/08 at 5:48pm
This production had moments touched with brilliance and moments touched with boredom.

The brilliance of setting the piece in the 1950s and having it take place within a giant TV set, was offset by the fact that the book virtually evaporated at times (even in the 1999 National Theatre production it wasn't that strong, but my goodness, it was a lot stronger than this). The brilliance of the set designs and costumes was offset by the ridiculousness of some of the impossible plot twists - how many times can various people come back to life without explanation? Is this Bernstein or Dallasty? The brilliance of the score and orchestra were offset by it being treated as almost a Leonard Bernstain jukebox musical. I was really pleased to hear songs that normally get cut (We Are Women, Ringaroundarosie - both far too suggestive for a 1950s audience) but there was absolutely no reason for them to be in there in the first place.

All four leads got huge ovations, especially Beverley Klein and Anna Christy (who is Kristin Chenoweth?), and so did the orchestra but it was a long journey getting there.

Ironically, for a musical that sings about the "best of all possible worlds" we still await the best of all possible Candides.
Updated On: 7/13/08 at 05:48 PM
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re: Candide at the Coliseum#19
Posted: 7/14/08 at 10:47am
I would agree with a lot of what the above poster said. Berverly Klein was fantastic, the best actor/actress on that stage that evening. Alex Jennings was very good though also but not sensational in my eyes. The chorus had no acting skills whatsoever sadly and some had terrible posture and sort of "clonked" on. I was dissappointed by Marnie (seemed like an understudy performance to me, no offense to understudies, have been one myself) and I thought Candide was vocally terrific but lacked star quality and again - the acting was not there. I realise thise is an ENO production but since it is a musical, I was hoping that singing would come second in the character journeys and acting would not be sacrificed to serve the (admittedly magnificent) score - but it didn't. Great production (set, choreography, etc) but would replace most of the actors if I were to see it again.