adds his touch to Bernstein's 'Candide' for Tech Music Theatre
Texas Tech Music Theatre director Gerald Dolter surprised no one by saying, "This production of 'Candide' is one of the most complicated shows I have ever put on."
With a cast numbering 28, an additional 20 musicians and 16 separate scenes in an operetta running approximately two hours and 40 minutes, Texas Tech Music Theatre director Gerald Dolter surprised no one by saying, "This production of 'Candide' is one of the most complicated shows I have ever put on."
Minutes later, however, he
cannot stop himself from chuckling at some of the production's adult humor.
explained, "The person who becomes Cunegonde's guide is the Old Woman with one buttock.
You see, during a time when there was no food, they could have resorted to cannibalism.
But they didn't want to kill people if they didn't have to and so, in this woman's case, they just sliced off one buttock.
"The writer makes it kind of funny, like when the Old Woman explains, 'But it makes riding very difficult.' "
would rate his
Dolter is confident in the experienced vocalists, many of them graduate students, who have been cast in the play's lead roles.
The plot finds Candide seeking "the best of all possible worlds," said Dolter
has good reason for seeking a better place, as Dolter
explained, "In the first scene, his
mom and dad are butchered and Cunegonde is raped."
travels take him from Germany to El Dorado, by way of Bavaria, Holland and Portugal, picking up traveling companions along the way.
said, "In the end, what he
finds out is that it is relationships that matter.
They've needed that time to prepare," said Dolter
The strangest aspect of the show, said Dolter
, is that there is "so much of the macabre - for example, during the Portugese Inquisition, Pangloss is hanged and Candide is flogged - but mixed in is a lot of funny stuff, too."
The production is much different from Tech's earlier presentation of "Sweeney Todd," he
explained, "because in 'Sweeney Todd,' you had blood from cut throats, whereas in 'Candide,' such elements are suggested, not real."
The Cedar Rapids Opera is doing the original 1956 version of "Candide."
The later revision being performed at Tech also includes much more music, Dolter
•Stage director: Gerald Dolter.