Candide

Original Broadway Production (1956)

Trivia & History

Except for our addition of the Overture and the Entr'acte, our song list for this production reflects the one in the program for the production, which did not list a couple of minor numbers and which had certain slight oddities in the listing of the characters singing some of the numbers.


On February 13, 1956, it was announced in the New York Times that Alfred Drake had been offered the "starring role of Dr. Pangloss" in the production. On May 5, the theatre column in the Times told readers that "Alfred Drake is reported set for 'Candide.'"

Yet just a few weeks later, on May 24, 1956, the Times reported that Tom Ewell would play the dual role of Dr. Pangloss and Martin in the production. On June 1, it was again mentioned in the Times (on page 14) that Ewell would be starring in the show. On June 20, it was announced that Ewell had dropped out of the production "because he felt the musical demand of the part intended for him was beyond his scope."

On Sunday, July 29, it was reported in the "Rialto Gossip" column of section 2 in the Times that it looked like the search for an actor to played the roles was at an end, and that the actor would be Max Adrian.


In a 1982 article in the New York Times, Edie Adams said that Leonard Bernstein wrote the role of Cunegonde, and specifically "Glitter and Be Gay," with her in mind. At the same as she was offered Candide, she was offered the role of Daisy Mae in the original production of Li'l Abner. She went to George Abott, who had directed her in the original production of Bernstein's Wonderful Town, and asked him for advice on which role to accept. Abbott advised her to accept Li'l Abner, the more commercial show.


The production started rehearsals on Wednesday, September 26, 1956 (according a report in that day's New York Times).


The production was scheduled to open on November 22, but a few days after the tryout opening in Boston, it was announced that the opening would be delayed till December 1. An additional tryout run was hastily scheduled in New Haven, reversing the usual producure where shows would start their tryouts in New Haven and then move on to one or more other cities.


During the tryout, the role of the Contessa, played by Carmen Mathews, was deleted from the show.


It had been announced in the New York Times on June 20, 1956, that the choreography would be provided by Tom Brown, who was the assistant to the production's director, Tyrone Guthrie. When the production opened on Broadway, the playbill's title page featured no credit for choreography or dances or musical staging.

In the program for the Boston tryout, Wallace Seibert received a credit as "Dance Assistant to Mr. Brown," while Brown was credited on the title page as Guthrie's assistant (which may have been the only credit he was ever expected to receive). Seibert's credit was rather inconspicuously placed after the list of musical numbers, along with the credits for the assistants in various production areas. At this time, Seibert was also a member of the dance ensemble. By the Broadway opening, Seibert was no longer in the cast.

At some point, Anna Sokolow was brought in to do additional work on the dances. Her only credit in the Broadway playbill was a vague expression of appreciation from the management "for her assitance," while Seibert was credited as "Dance Supervisor." Both credits were placed after the list of musical numbers.



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