“Glitter and Be Gay”: Candide Begins New York City Opera Run March 4

News   “Glitter and Be Gay”: Candide Begins New York City Opera Run March 4
Tony Award winners John Cullum and Judy Kaye co-star in the New York City Opera’s mounting of Leonard Bernstein's Candide, which begins its limited engagement March 4.
John Cullum
John Cullum Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Cullum, most recently on Broadway in the hit musical Urinetown, plays Dr. Pangloss with Kaye as the Old Lady. The company also includes Stacey Logan as Paquette and Kyle Pfortmiller as Maximilian. The roles of Cunegonde and Candide are double-cast: Anna Christy and Georgia Jarman share the former role and Keith Jameson and William Ferguson alternate in the title role. The Candide company also features John Paul Almon, Gina Ferrall, Eric Michael Gillett, Christopher Jackson, William Ledbetter, Deborah Lew, Robert Ousley, Nanne Puritz and Peter Samuel. (Martin Van Trueren will play Dr. Pangloss for the matinee on March 5.)

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Voltaire’s Candide was a scene-stealer long before Leonard Bernstein brought it to musical life.

The Harold Prince production of Candide, featuring direction by Arthur Masella and choreography by Patricia Birch, will play through March 19. The creative team for Candide also includes Deanna Dys (associate choreographer), Clarke Dunham (set designer), Judith Dolan (costume designer), Ken Billington (lighting designer) and Abe Jacob (sound designer). George Manahan conducts the orchestra. 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 Latouche, 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. The Patti LuPone-Kristin Chenoweth-Paul Groves version, taped live last season with the New York Philharmonic, was recently aired on PBS.

John Cullum, a two-time Tony winner for his work in Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century, has also starred on Broadway in Urinetown, Camelot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Boys in Autumn, Hamlet, 1776, All My Sons, Show Boat and Old Money. Also a film and TV star, his screen credits include "The Secret Life of Algernon," "1776," "Sweet Country," "Hawaii," "Northern Exposure," "Law & Order" and "Touched By An Angel."

Judy Kaye recently starred in the York Theatre Company's production of Souvenir. She played the role of Rosie in the Broadway company of Mamma Mia!, a part for which she received a 2002 Tony Award nomination. Kaye won the Tony for her performance as Carlotta in the New York production of The Phantom of the Opera and also received a Theatre World Award for her work in On the Twentieth Century. Kaye also starred on Broadway in Ragtime, and her two solo recordings are titled "Diva by Diva" and "Songs from the Silver Screen." For more information visit www.nycopera.com.

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