La Opera - Candide Reviews
Jeffrey Rockwell from Beverly Hills, California
NOT THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE "CANDIDES"
The miraculous Overture emerges from the pit, meticulously played and conducted, nothing to distract from basking in its sheer joy. Then, towards the end of it, for no good reason, the curtain rises on Mr. Grammer and a supremely ugly set and the audience's Pavlovian applause interrupts the flow, the mood, and the spirit of Bernstein's rush of melody. So, once again directorial hubris claims the stage with visions that illuminate one moment and obfuscate the next. Set and costumes are inexplicably reminiscent of "Hamilton," Caird's book is repetitive, one number ("What's the Use?") vocally misplaced for the assigned singers, the wonderful Christine Ebersole underserved by the cutting of "Quiet," and the actors hamstrung at times by the direction ( e.g., what was Cunegonde's intention at the end of "Glitter and be Gay"?). There is a crucial plus side to the performance, however, in that the score is sung well and conducted with rapture, wit and brio, if occasionally on the slow side.
Matthew from Los Angeles, California
IRREDEEMABLE AND NOT SELF AWARE ENOUGH TO BE SATIRE
Unfortunately, we must report that Candide at LA Opera is some of the worst and most offensive entertainment I’ve seen in a long time. The women were objects, had no agency, were villainized repeatedly, raped endlessly, given diseases and blamed for them, turned against each other and scorned as whores. At one point when they brought “sheep” out and it was women on leashes I just started laughing because I couldn’t take it anymore. The Jewish (stereotype) and South American portrayals (Vegas showgirls) were out of control. We are pretty sure multiple characters played by white actors sang songs about being black, not that there were any actors of color in the show. Oh and the minstrel gay character definitely implied he fucks horses. There were a few cute staging moments, the singing and music are lovely, but this show’s over the top zaniness and irony is not self reflective enough to make any of this modern satire or ok enough to go unchecked. IRREDEEMABLE.
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