Cabrillo Stage, CA

Cabrillo's CANDIDE is a force

“Cabrillo Stage’s adaptation of Voltaire’s Candide is a glorious conglomeration of the very best that local theater has to offer. Incredibly funny, fast-paced and thoroughly engaging, the comical operetta grips the audience’s attention from the opening scene, with a fantastical set that provides theater goers with a conundrum reminiscent of a Cirque de Soleil production: Where does one look first? Period costumes lend themselves to the authenticity of the show, and the sheer talent of the cast is a glory to behold.”

“With 28 cast members, the energy is electrifying as the story unfolds.”

“The vast talent on stage is nearly outshined by the wit and hilarity of the story and its wild staging. From the audience’s voyeurism as Candide and Cunegonde practice their first moment of intimacy to the massive earthquake that shakes the city of Lisbon and leaves hundreds dead, each scene is completely enthralling and elicits hearty rounds of laughter from the audience. (One would not believe that an earthquake could be funny, but this one is hilarious.) Every song and dance number is deftly choreographed and replete with strong, vibrant voices that complement the score of the production.”

“This incredible production is a credit to director and choreographer Gary John La Rosa, whose adept direction addresses hard-to-swallow themes of the operetta, such as prostitution and religious blasphemy, while bringing a joyful, playful element to the story. Add in a pair of singing sheep, a little cross-dressing and a hanging-gone-wrong, and you’re in for an evening of splendid talent and fun. And as for the finale – Bernstein’s masterpiece ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ sung by Candide and Cunegonde – it is simply not to be missed.”

“There are not a lot of ‘musts’ in life but seeing the Cabrillo Theater presentation of Candide is one of them. It’s just that good.”

Christina Wise – Press Banner

Experience Glorious Music: CANDIDE

“I expected the music to be magnificent, and it is, but I had no idea the show was so funny!”

“Director Gary John La Rosa makes the most of every humorous moment with his creative staging. He includes the talented, well-choreographed ensemble frequently making them a vital part of telling Candide’s tale.”

“Candide is rarely performed as it’s a huge undertaking requiring the highest caliber of singers, musicians and actors. Cabrillo Stage has brought all the elements together in this production, which is perhaps their finest to date.”

Mindy Pedlar – Times Publishing Group

Wild, Wacky, Wonderful CANDIDE lands at Cabrillo Stage

“Clearly Voltaire and Bernstein (as well as La Rosa) had a lot of fun with this show which has traces of Spamalot (a wagon filled with Cunegonde – who has been ravaged – as well as an arm hanging out here, a leg there). If you didn’t know better you’d think you were watching an old-fashioned American melodrama!”

“Later on, there’s mention of syphilis as well as belly dancers, a grand executioner and swords going in (and out) of people. No wonder Cabrillo Stage warns that it’s ‘not intended for children under 8.’ But it’s likely that everyone else will find this Candide a barrel of laughs.

Joanne Engelhardt – Santa Cruz Sentinel

© 2024 Gary John La Rosa