London's Menier Chocolate Factory to Revive Bernstein's Candide; Creative Team Includes Matthew White, Adam Cooper, David Charles Abell
By Mark Shenton
London's Menier Chocolate Factory are to revive Bernstein's Candide as this year's Christmas musical, beginning performances Nov. 23 prior to an official opening Dec. 2 for a run through Feb. 22, 2014.
Previous musicals in this slot have included Sunday in the Park with George, La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music (all of which subsequently transferred to both the West End and Broadway), and Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity and Merrily We Roll Along (all of which transferred to the West End).
The creative team includes director Matthew White, choreographer Adam Cooper, musical supervisor David Charles Abell and orchestrator Jason Carr.
White is currently represented in the West End by the Olivier Award winning Top Hat. He has previously directed The Last Five Years, Little Shop of Horrors and Sweet Charity for the Menier.
Cooper's musical theatre choreographic credits include On Your Toes (Leicester Haymarket and Royal Festival Hall), Carousel (West End's Savoy Theatre) and Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse, for which he was Olivier-nominated). As a dancer, he originated the roles of the Swan and The Pilot in Matthew Bourne's productions of Swan Lake and Cinderella respectively. As a musical theatre actor, he most recently starred in Singin' in the Rain at Chichester Festival Theatre that subsequently transferred to the West End's Palace Theatre.
Abell's recent credits include Love Never Dies (Adelphi Theatre), Finding Neverland (Leicester Curve), and Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George (Chatelet, Paris), Finding Neverland (Leicester Curve), as well as the BBC Proms tribute to Stephen Sondheim and Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert at the O2.
Carr's credits include Sunday in the Park and La Cage Aux Folles (for both of which he was Tony-nominated for their Braoadway transfers) and A Little Night Music.
Other creatives include Paul Farnsworth (set and costumes, who was Olivier-nominated for the original West End production of Sondheim's Passion), Paul Anderson (lighting, who was Olivier nominated for Complicite's The Master and Margarita), Gareth Owen (sound, Tony nominated for A Little Night Music and End of the Rainbow) and Seann Alderking (musical direction).
Candide has music by Leonard Bernstein, a book by Hugh Wheeler adapted from Voltaire, and lyrics by Richard Wilbur. Additional lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lilian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein.
T he show follows its title character on a journey of discovery, from Westphalia to the far reaches of the New World. Through anguish, happiness, loss and love this is a whirlwind adventure that seeks to prove "life is happiness indeed."
Casting is still to be announced.
To book tickets, which are on sale to Chocolate Factory members from Sept. 2 and to the general public from Sept. 11, contact the box office on 020 7378 1713 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com
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