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Philadelphia, PA 19106
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I love being a season ticket holder to the Arden and very much enjoyed seeing Candide at the preview last Friday. My only comment as someone who has seen many productions at the Arden would be that I am not really a fan of the “theater in the round” that seems to have taken over the productions of the last couple of seasons- I miss the beatiful stage sets and being able to see and hear the action from the “front”. Otherwise, keep up the good work in bringing so many great productions to the Arden.
I was very impressed with the production of “Candide”– the acting, the music, the dancing. I really enjoy the actors, many of whom as familiar from previous productions. However, I thought it was TOO LONG. I think a little less exposition or perhaps cutting a couple of songs would have keep it from dragging.
I have always loved Bernstein’s Candide, but this was the first time I’ve seen it on stage. Fabulous production! Superb talent all around! Extremely well cast, well directed, well choreographed. All in all, an excellent and very enjoyable performance! A must-see for lovers of musical theater. Singing voices were gorgeous, but I occasionally could not understand dialogue when actors were not facing the section where I was seated. This was not too troublesome, a minor annoyance.
A valiant attempt to produce this flawed musical. Too long. Too ponderous. There are reasons why the show has never worked as well as it should. Our connection with Candide’s struggle is never coonected emotionally (although Ben Dibble is an excellent singer and actor). As an audience member, I never cared about Candide’s next `adventure’. The director is not comfortable working with theater in the round and the bad acoustics hinder his efforts. Scott Greer’s approach wasn’t very clear and I missed the warmth and charm of some of his other performances.
My wife and I did not enjoy Candide, although the acting was excellent. We were not familiar with the play other than the Inquirer review. It was way too long and the story just seemed to drag on and on. We do not mind the theater in the round but the acoustics could be better(I thought it was just me).
Candide was great! What a refreshing change from previous productions of this play. First rate acting, singing, choreography, costuming, direction made for a thoroughly enjoyable theatrical experience. Bravo!
This was perfect, perfect, perfect! I’ve been in love with this show since I saw it in high school (half my life ago, if you must know!) and I’ve only been able to see it two other times – once at Villanova in 1995 and once on Broadway in 1997. And I have to say that the small, intimate, minimalist setting I saw on Sunday was exactly as it should be. Too many sets and too big a stage and everything gets lost. The telling of this story depends on creativity and great acting, and you did an AMAZING job. Bravo! I hope to see it again.
This is an astounding production of Candid. Kudos to everyone in and behind this show.
To me, what your production has succeeded in adding is a bouyant and totally likeable
narrative voice–which is exactly what is needed to carry us through Voltaire’s journey. This is exactly what Bernstein’s music acheives and why
Arden’s production makes so much sense. Terrible things befall the heroes in Don Quixote, Huck Finn and Angela’s Ashes, but there’s something about
the spirit and style of the storyteller that allows us to experience the subsequent calamities with a shared wonderment…and keeps us turning pages.
Your Candide is really the opposite of the Prince’s production of a few years ago–the warm to their cool (in the McLuhan sense). Consequently, the
humanity of the story comes front and center. Although I have always loved the music, I was never moved emotionally by other productions. Your Candide literally sent chills down my spine.
And as we briefly discussed Friday, every minute that the journey takes is necessary. It’s funny how one’s first impulse to “improve” a show is to
edit when in fact sometimes it is the fullest, longest, (and often messiest) version that proves to be the one that triumphs. With your Candide (as with the current South Pacific revival), the three hours we spend with these characters (these actors, this music) is time that to be treasured. And I am finding it so hard to say goodbye that I’m coming back for a third time next week.
I quite enjoyed the production, but my companion and I had trouble following the lyrics at times, and unfortunately we were in Section A, and couldn’t read the surtitles displayed above the orchestra.
dear cast & crew,
i saw candide this saturday with my high school girlfriends. i thought it was superb in may ways. the cast was sooo talented, with really fine physical performances. i was energized by the end, even though it was a long production. now i know from whence "forrest gump" derives. bravo for a first rate job! ps, i am a very tough critic. dr teresa tobin
I have long enjoyed Voltare’s Candide, first the book, then with Bernstein’s music that has so much in common with that of Kurt Weill. Of the several productions of the musical I have seen, this was certainly the most clearly delineated and intimate production. The clever use of chalk to augment the minimal black-box props helped to quicken the pace and keep the story line moving. The thrust stage was used creatively and effectively. My wife, who dislikes amplified sound (we are frequent opera goers) thought that, particularly for the females, the voices didn’t need the amplification. She had to admit, though, that your version was much easier to follow that the last production we saw performed in the round at Arena Stage in DC.
I enjoyed Candide very much. The singing was excellent and the staging was good. There was a good energy to it, and I especially enjoyed Scott Greer’s Voltaire and Christopher Patrick Mullen’s Martin.
I loved your super-creative production of Candide. I did NOT think it was too long. The singing was AMAZING. Bravo soloists and ensemble. You won’t hear that quality of choral singing in any other theater in town.
Although it was long, I agree with the other comments – the acting and staging was so excellent, you got caught up in the emotion of the story. The choreography was superb. Bravo to your talented choreographer.