The 18th Century author Voltaire wrote a fanciful story about a young man, Candide, whose journey of improbable misadventures leads him ultimately to love, manhood and the meaning of Life. War, natural disasters, unnatural assignations, torture, pirates and disease are among the many obstacles Candide overcomes, in a paradoxically comedic satire, with the help of his mentor Dr. Pangloss, his love Cunegonde and the omnipotent presence of Voltaire himself. Leonard Bernstein’s musical adaptation, with a book by Lillian Hellman, and lyrics by Richard Wilbur, John LaTouche and Dorothy Parker, first appeared on Broadway in 1956. In 1973, Hal Prince got Hugh Wheeler to write a new book and this pared down version, with additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, was presented in Brooklyn at the Chelsea Theatre Center (now BAM). Theater 2020 is delighted to bring this version back to Brooklyn, in a site-specific production at St. Charles Borromeo Church. Relying heavily on its outstanding ensemble, the costume design of New York Innovative Theater Award Nominee Viviane Galloway and the piano virtuosity of Music Director Ming Aldrich-Gan, this production brings a classically contemporary take to the musical, in which extreme optimism is lampooned in favor of a more pragmatic approach to life. The characters are archetypes, the tale is episodic and picaresque, the style is guerilla theater meets morality play -- and the music is glorious! Hal Prince wrote of his 1973 production: “Candide owes its origins to medieval theater, to the Globe, to commedia dell’arte. It is street theater. It is not about film. It is about live actors and a live audience.” When a 21st century audience meets skilled singer-story tellers, it’s “The Best of All Possible Worlds.”
About the Company: Theater 2020
Theater 2020, Inc., Visions for a New Millennium is dedicated to producing classic and contemporary plays and musicals for a 21st Century audience and to providing a nurturing atmosphere for both emerging artists and seasoned professionals. We are dedicated to reaching out to the community and to producing quality theater at affordable prices, utilizing established professionals and fostering young artists as they emerge into the theatrical mainstream, with a particular emphasis on providing more opportunities for women in theater.
Based in Brooklyn Heights, Theater 2020 produces professional theater, everything from classic theater to contemporary satire, with forays into musicals and light opera, making them immediate to modern audiences using both innovative and traditional approaches. We believe live performance is a vital part of a healthy culture and that it is through theater that audiences are engaged dynamically in today's issues and in perpetual questions of the human condition.
Through our many audience outreach programs, we offer free and deeply discounted tickets because we believe theater must be for everyone, and no one should be deprived of the experience due to economic status. Through our educational initiatives we are firmly committed to the idea that today's youth is tomorrow's audience, and we work with educators to provide opportunities for students as interns and assistants.