Candide was first published in France in 1759 to great acclaim and scandal. The novel tells the story of Candide, a naïve optimist who believes that the world he lives in is the “best possible world”. When Candide falls in love with Cunegonde, the daughter of a baron, he is banished and embarks on an epic journey that takes him across Europe and to Eldorado, the city of gold. Countless hardships challenge Candide’s unwavering faith in optimism in a perfect recipe for disillusionment.
The operetta was composed by Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story) and premiered on Broadway in 1956, with rewritten revivals in 1974 and 1997. It has been nominated for 17 Tony Awards across the three Broadway productions, and won Best Book of a Musical for the 1974 revival.
“John Arsenault, our Board President and Music Director, has been suggesting [Candide] for years, and we now felt ready to take on such a significant work … It’s about people who live life to a flawed ideal that brings them to their lowest point; they dig themselves out of it, eventually realizing that what they have in this imperfect world is each other. The show is generally a bit ridiculous and over the top, but includes beautiful serious moments and a genuine message. Our production follows these same lines, with imaginative costumes, and some hilariously outrageous staging, but also really touching moments of heartbreak, betrayal, and tenderness.”
Candide plays in the Studio Theatre on Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24 at 8pm and Sunday, August 25 at 2pm.Tickets are $25 and include complimentary coffee, tea and dessert in Evergreen’s lobby after the show.