The New York Public radio station — 93.9 FM — will broadcast live a performance of the limited engagement of Bernstein's Candide; the musical will also be available via webstream at www.WNYC.org. Margaret Juntwait will host the broadcast, which will feature interviews with conductor Marin Alsop as well as members of the star-studded cast. The history of Candide will be explored by Sara Fishko and will include chats with lyricist Richard Wilbur and original Cunegonde Barbara Cook. WNYC's "Evening Music" — hosted by David Garland — will salute the works of Leonard Bernstein in the hour leading up to the live broadcast.
The musical, which is playing a limited engagement through May 8, stars Tony Award winners Chenoweth and LuPone as, respectively, Cunegonde and The Old Lady. They are joined by tenor Paul Groves in the title role, tenor Stanford Olsen as Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski and baritone Sir Thomas Allen as Pangloss/Martin. The concerts, helmed by Lonny Price, also feature the Westminster Symphonic Choir under the direction of Joseph Flummerfelt. Marin Alsop conducts the Philharmonic.
The cast also boasts Michael McCormick (Baron/Inquisitor/Don Issachar/Cacambo), Gina Ferrall (Baroness/Sheep), Janine LaManna (Paquette), Jeff Blumenkrantz (Maximillian), Michael McElroy (Judge/Captain/Crook), John Herrera (Judge/Aide/Prefect/Governor), Ray Wills (Heresy Agent/Archbishop/Priest) and Patty Goble (Sheep). Song titles include "Life Is Happiness Indeed," "The Best of All Possible Worlds," "Oh, Happy We," "It Must Be So," "Dear Boy," "Auto-da-fé," "Glitter and Be Gay," "You Were Dead, You Know," "I Am Easily Assimilated," "My Love," "We Are Women," "Alleluia," "Quiet," "Bon Voyage," "What's the Use?" and "Make Our Garden Grow."
Jim Noone has provided the stage design with costumes by Tracy Christensen, lighting by Kevin Adams, sound by Tom Clark, choreography by Casey Nickalaw and combat direction by Rick Sordelet.
About his two Broadway stars, director Price said in a statement, "I've always wanted to work with Kristin, and this is a perfect part for her: she's really got that coloratura. And she can be funny. The keynote of this piece is light and funny. . . If the role and the star fit that well, then a lot of my work is done, because then I can build the production around what they can do. . . . Patti and I, this will be our seventh show together; we have quite a longstanding partnership. She is really terrific. I tend to try and do more than maybe I'm supposed to and so does Patti. On the first day of rehearsal she says 'I'll be off book'; she raises the bar. Then I raise it a little, she raises it, we both raise it and keep raising it, and think, 'It'll kill people off or they'll come along with us.'" Based on Voltaire's novel, Candide premiered on Broadway in 1956 at the Martin Beck Theatre. Although it boasted music by Leonard Bernstein, a book by Lillian Hellman and additional lyrics by John La Touche, Dorothy Parker and Richard Wilbur, the musical ran a brief 73 performances. The 1997 revival at the Gershwin Theatre featured a cast led by Jim Dale, Andrea Martin, Jason Danieley and Harolyn Blackwell.
Candide will be performed at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Single tickets, priced $50 $150, are available by calling (212) 875-5656. For more information about the New York Philharmonic, visit www.newyorkphilharmonic.org.