A mad, clever, witty, optimistic riff on the best of humankind


A fun evening with Leonard Bernstein would inevitably lead at some stage to the piano, where the great man would fluently quote from anything from romantic symphonies to South American dances, Beatles songs, G&S, via possibly grand opera and Jewish Tango. But the thing is, he would connect them all up, and bring the whole world of music together in one glorious celebration of humanity. This is what Candide is like: a mad, clever, witty, optimistic riff on the best of humankind. Never has a Broadway show been more worked on and revised, and never has a madder idea been attempted – turning Voltaire’s stinging satire into musical theatre. But what shines through every time is Bernstein’s infectious, outrageous music. Voltaire's blast against tyranny, snobbery and false moralising is clearly felt deeply by Bernstein. And he has the genius to keep you pinned to your seat riveted by its brilliance, while your toes will inevitably be wiggling in time with the rhythms.

A star-studded cast from Broadway and the West End will bring it all to life.

"Bernstein elevated musical theatre to a very sophisticated art form and clearly influenced composers like Stephen Sondheim, giving them courage to bridge the ground between it and opera."

Marin Alsop
  • Composer — Leonard Bernstein
  • Lyrics — Richard Wilbur
  • Additional Lyrics — John La Touche, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
  • Book — Hugh Wheeler, after the novel by Voltaire

Production Team


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