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Epic masterpiece ‘Candide’ opens Thursday, April 19

04/17/2018 11:53 am

Candide, Rockford University Performing ArtsCandide, an epic musical masterpiece, opens its run on April 19 on the Maddox Theatre stage. The show runs through Sunday, April 22. This rarely performed production is part of the Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebration and features a special partnership between Rockford University’s Performing Arts Department and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in the pit orchestra. Candide is based on the book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Richard Wilbur with additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and John La Touche and is directed by Professor Jeff Hendry. The satirical novella was written by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment, and tells a comic tale of a young man’s journey from idealism to wisdom. Hendry says of the show, “Leonard Bernstein’s masterpiece of epic love and adventure is one of the most elaborate shows the University has produced. The set is three stories and covers the entire Maddox stage. There are more than 153 costumes. It is lavish beyond belief.”

Mr. Bernstein had a special connection to Rockford University, speaking at its commencement ceremony in 1966. His beloved piano teacher and long-time secretary, Helen Coates was a native of Rockford and 1916 graduate from then Rockford College. The Leonard Bernstein at 100 festival is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts , the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and Illinois Arts Council Agency. To learn more, visit: sites.google.com/site/leonardbernsteinat100/home.

This production is also part of Rockford University’s Spring Forum Series. Candide showtimes are Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m. Single ticket admission for adults $12, seniors age 55 and up, and students is $9 unless otherwise noted. Group rates are available. Contact the Box Officefor tickets, email boxoffice@rockford.edu or 815-226-4100.

Maddox Theatre is located in the Clark Arts Center, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Clark Arts is accessible.