Three semi-staged concert productions of Leonard Bernstein's Candide begin performances at the San Francisco Symphony's Davies Hall July 18.
Led by husband-and-wife Broadway actors Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie, who recently completed runs in the London productions of, respectively, The Full Monty and Kiss Me, Kate, the cast also includes Tony winners George Hearn and Rita Moreno as well as Jennifer Welch-Babidge, Keith Phares and Stanford Olsen.
The July 18-20 concerts are part of "Summer in the City," the annual series presented by the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Danieley, who starred in the most recent Broadway revival of Candide, will reprise his title role; Mazzie will portray Paquette, Hearn will star as Dr. Voltaire/Pangloss, Moreno will play the role of the Old Lady, Welch-Babidge is Cunegonde, Phares is Maximilian and Olsen the Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski.
Stafford Arima — associate director of Broadway's Seussical and A Class Act — will helm the concerts, which feature the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony. San Francisco Opera Principal Patrick Summers will be the symphony's guest conductor for the weekend of concerts.
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 and current Oklahoma! star Andrea Martin. Davies Symphony Hall is located in San Francisco, CA at 201 Van Ness Avenue. Tickets — ranging from $28 to $75 — are available by calling (415) 864-6000; for more information, go to www.sfsymphony.org.
—By Andrew Gans