Geoff Packard Is Zimmerman's Candide; Molina, Yando, Resnick Will Also Make Goodman Garden Grow

News   Geoff Packard Is Zimmerman's Candide; Molina, Yando, Resnick Will Also Make Goodman Garden Grow
Casting for Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman's new fall co-production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide has been announced by Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL.
Mary Zimmerman
Mary Zimmerman

The musical inspired by Voltaire's satiric novel about blind optimism will feature Geoff Packard (Broadway's Rock of Ages, The Phantom of the Opera) in the title role of Candide; Lauren Molina (of Broadway's Rock of Ages and the recent Sweeney Todd) as his love, Cunegonde; Chicago's Larry Yando as Pangloss, Candide's tutor; Hollis Resnick (the Chicago star who toured as Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie and had recent regional success in Grey Gardens) as the Old Lady; Chicago's Jonathan Weir as the Governor; Erik Lochtefeld (Metapmorphoses) as Maximillian; Margo Seibert as Paquette; Jesse Perez as Cacambo; and Tom Aulino as Martin. Ensemble members include Spencer Curnutt, Rebecca Finnegan, Govind Kumar, Rob Lindley, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Emma Rosenthal, Thomas Adrian Simpson, Joey Stone, Tempe Thomas and Joseph Tokarz.

Zimmerman — who won the Best Direction Tony Award for her nationally-seen Metamorphoses — is said to be dipping into the source novel to further flavor the production. The musical that blurs the line between musical comedy and comic opera includes such songs as "Glitter and Be Gay," "Life Is Happiness Indeed," "Make Our Garden Grow," "The Best of All Possible Worlds" and many more, to say nothing of its famous overture. The musical bowed on Broadway in 1956. Following rewrites, it found renewed life back on Broadway (twice), in regional theatres and in opera houses around the world.

Rehearsals will begin Aug. 10. Tickets go on sale Aug. 13. Performances will play Sept.17–Oct. 24, in the Goodman's Albert Theatre. Candide is a co-production between Goodman and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, which will present the staging following the Chicago run.

The Goodman production will feature an orchestra of 12. Doug Peck is the music director.

Candide has music by Leonard Bernstein, a book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler, lyrics by Richard Wilbur, and additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein. *

In addition to the July 26 casting announcement of Candide, Goodman announced that two Chicagoans will direct Goodman mainstage productions in the coming season: Rick Snyder will direct God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza (March 5–April 10, 2011), and Jessica Thebus will direct Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl (April 30–June 5, 2011).

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