A staged concert of Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 operetta Candide, starring two-time Tony Award nominee Christopher Sieber as the Narrator/Dr. Pangloss, will be presented May 9–20 at Atlanta Symphony Hall in a joint production between the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Sieber joins Aaron Blake as Candide and Alexandra Schoeny as Cunegonde in a cast that also features Jeremy Aggers, Kathleen Farrar Buccleugh, Terry Burrell, Bradley Dean, Logan Denninghoff, Janine DiVita, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Jimm Kieffer, Christian Magby, Jeff McKerley, Alecia Robinson, Ben Thorpe, and Corey James Wright.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus are also part of the production that is directed by Alliance Artistic Director Susan V. Booth. An official opening is set for May 11.
“When you have the opportunity to work with musicians as skilled as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra you don’t put them in the pit,” Booth explained in a statement. “We will have about 170 people on stage and a story that involves shipwrecks, warfare, jungle expeditions, and the odd burning of heretics. There was a basic square footage challenge to be solved. I started to think about how, as kids, we could make whole worlds in our sandboxes. In our dollhouses. And I remembered seeing something called ‘micro-puppetry’ on a trip to Eastern Europe many years back and being deeply moved by these tiny figures. All of those impulses came crashing together when I came across an essay on Voltaire’s philosophical evolution toward the end of his life. He came to a belief that whatever deity was ordering the universe seemed almost to be a disinterested puppeteer. And that was the answer – marrying miniature puppetry theatre with a live video feed that will project these epic scenes from the story as we’re telling it on stage, all in real time.”
Matt A. Acheson is the production's toy theatre designer/fabricator and will perform during each performance as the Puppeteer. Candide will have projection design by Tony nominee Sven Ortel, choreography by Daniel Pelzig, set design by Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Lex Liang, sound design by Clay Benning, and lighting design by Ken Yunker.
For tickets, visit alliancetheatre.org/candide.