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Candide
a Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Music - Leonard Bernstein; Lyrics - Richard Wilbur; Book - Hugh Wheeler, John Caird

COMPANY : Theatre Arts Guild
VENUE : Georgia Perimeter College - Marvin Cole Auditorium
ID# 3867

SHOWING : October 29, 2010 - November 07, 2010

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Georgia Perimeter College’s Theatre Arts Guild presents Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide.” The fast-paced and funny musical/operetta is based on Voltaire’s controversial novella of the same name.

The play is directed by Sally J. Robertson with musical direction by Susan J. McEwen. Both are GPC Fine Arts associate professors.

The play centers on Candide, a naive youth schooled in the 18th-century philosophy of Optimism by his tutor, Pangloss (who doubles as tour guide for the audience in the form of Voltaire). The story moves through the years and more than two dozen locales with both witty humor and biting social commentary. Having set off on an epic journey to find his true love Cunegonde, Candide encounters the worst of all possible natural and man-made disasters, raising provocative questions about whether all really is for the best in this “best of all possible worlds.”

Appropriate for children ages 13 and above, the performance features a 21-member cast of community and college actors, and a full orchestra.


CAST & CREW LIST
Choreographer Kristie Krabe
Musical Director, Conductor Susan J. McEwen
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Can Do the Deed
by playgoer
Sunday, November 7, 2010
4.0
Theatre Arts Guild's production of "Candide" provides Atlanta audiences with a rare opportunity to see Leonard Bernstein's troubled masterpiece. This production uses John Caird's adaptation from 1999, which hews closer to the original score than some productions have. The book is probably significantly different from the original, but it works well to keep the story moving along.

The main attraction here is the magnificent music, but Theatre Arts Guild has also staged a handsome production. The set design by Lizz Dorsey consists of a few broad stairs stage right and a highly raked stage from center stage to the left. A nested series of boxes is center stage at the start, with the boxes rearranged throughout the production to suggest different locales. Upstage are a wooden ramp and a column that doubles as a gibbet and a mast. Downstage, there's a trapdoor, used effectively at a couple of moments. The set is magnificently lit by Mike Post. Costumes by Jim Alford
add to the visual charm of the production.

The orchestra, led by Susan J. McEwen, does a fabulous job with Bernstein's music. The show starts with the famous "Candide" overture, which sounds very good. The entr'acte sounds even better. The accompaniment is fine throughout. The sound design (by director Sally J. Robertson) balances voices and orchestra beautifully.

Voices are good overall, with a couple of exceptions. Joseph R. Lewit is often sour as Cacambo, and seems to be looking intently into the orchestra pit for direction as he sings. Aaron Gotlieb as Dr. Pangloss seems to have a tin ear, but at least he realizes it and sing-speaks most of his numbers. When he sings the wrong notes, at least they seem to harmonize with the accompaniment.

On the other end of the spectrum, the voices of Cunegonde (Megan Mashburn) and Candide (Chad T. Dyar) are soaring, stirring, and pure. Thomas Trotter also has a thrilling voice, particularly in his role of Governor. Those three set the bar to such a high level that no one else can quite meet it.

Acting is a bit uneven in the minor roles, as might be expected in a production largely filled with college students. Pilar Rehert, as the sexy servant Paquette, doesn't make much of an impression; nor does Quintez Rashad, as Cunegonde's brother Maximillian. Part of the fun of this production is that these two characters, along with Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss, and an Old Woman, periodically show up in Candide's story after having been supposedly killed or lost. Dr. Pangloss and the Old Woman (Tara Chiusano) both are given extended monologues to fill in their histories, and they are both standouts. I only wish that blocking had allowed the Old Woman to face Candide and Cunegonde as she spoke, since it seemed very artificial to have her addressing the audience with the pair upstage behind her.

Otherwise, blocking is fine. The same can't be said of the choreography by Kristie Krabe. Granted, she doesn't have many natural dancers to work with in the ensemble, but the movements they are given seem tiresome and trite. Having them tromp out to center stage for the choral numbers "Auto-Da-Fe" and "Bon Voyage" turns these numbers into the low points of the evening, even though the music is quite entertaining. The dancing isn't.

Acting in the major roles is strong. Megan Mashburn may have the hardest role to portray, since Cunegonde evidences more pragmatism than purity, despite having the blonde good looks of a fairy tale princess. Some of her acting choices don't quite ring true. Tara Chiusano has lots of energy and stage presence as the Old Woman, and Aaron Gotlieb does a wonderful job as the narrator, Voltaire (author of the original "Candide" from the 18th centry). Best of all, though,is Chad T. Dyar in the title role. He invests Candide with charm, strength, and sincerity, providing a true heart at the center of the show. Kudos to him, and good marks to the production as a whole. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Re: Can Do the Deed by hotdogstage
I thought it was a fine stage production. The lighting was done well by Mike Post. I believe GPC has always done a fine job in picking cast members. Susan J. McEwen spent the most time working with the actors on this performance. It’s a shame she is on her way to Retirement. You did a fine job on the review however; the actors themselves did a great job, every one of them. Saying things like "acting does not ring out", "sour" and "tin ear" should be against the guidelines for this site. As a Theater Major I believe that when you do a review it should focus on the positives and not the so called exceptions. I don’t find in necessary to Single people out and saying the orchestra was fantastic. The DeKalb county orchestras are paid professionals who only worked with the cast a few times before the production night. The cast themselves who one might call amateurs spent months on the blocking, signing and preparations for the play. They did not get paid. We should be praising them. Good Job everyone!
hotdogstage by SeanisIt
Who are you to question how this person writes their review? They can say whatever they like about the show. Just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean that they should have written it any different. You're lucky they gave it a 4.0 out of 5.0. Maybe next time, you'll be thankful that anyone took the time to see the show to begin with and you'll stop picking it apart like an arrogant know-it-all.


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