Actor-director Lonny Price (A Class Act) will stage a concert version of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, May 5-8, 2004 in the same way he did the Philharmonic's semi-staged production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 2000.
Kristin Chenoweth (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) will star as Cunegonde opposite Paul Groves' Candide and Sir Thomas Allen's Dr. Pangloss. The Westminster Symphonic Choir, as directed by Joseph Flummerfelt will also participate.
Candide opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre, Dec. 1, 1956 under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie and starring Barbara Cook. The musical, which is based on the 1759 novel by Voltaire, featured music by Leonard Bernstein, a book by Lillian Hellman and lyrics by Richard Wilbur with John La Touche and Dorothy Parker. In subsequent revivals (in 1974 and 1997, both directed by Harold Prince) the book was adapted by Hugh Wheeler and lyrics were added to by Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
Bernstein protege Marin Alsop will conduct the production at Avery Fisher Hall which will mark the show's first complete Philharmonic performance. The Scottish Opera version of the show, authorized by Bernstein himself, will be used.
Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Marie Christine) will be the featured guest vocalist as part of the Philharmonic festival "Ives – An American Original." John Adams will conduct the series (May 21, 22, and 25, 2004) which will feature works by the composer Charles Ives, ragtime-era songs, John Adams's "Harmonium," and his arrangements of five Ives songs. Norman Scribner will direct The Choral Arts Society of Washington which will also participate in the event at Avery Fisher Hall.