Snarky Laughs at Candide

What is it about French farce?  After seeing Moliere and now Voltaire at the Shakespeare Theater, at least I understand why the French love Jerry Lewis.  And apparently, G loves French farce, but not Jerry Lewis …  Odd.

Candide at the Shakespeare Theater

When I first heard that a musical version of Voltaire would be on the schedule this season, I was skeptical, to say the least.  But Candide was sharp, witty and funny.  Probably a tad long at 2:45, but clever and worthy of Voltaire.  The costumes were lush.  The staging and transitions between scenes were well-done and creative.  Led by a Candide who oddly reminded me of Owen Wilson with his floppy blonde hair and clueless earnestness, there were several hysterical touches of physical comedy, including a great slow-motion fight between Candide and Maximilian.

Of course, you can also see why Candide got Voltaire into trouble with the authorities – who doesn’t he skewer?  Voltaire  reserves special treatment for theater critics, and religion is a particular target – in his El Dorado, there are no churches or religion (shocker for the 1700s!), and people there worship science.

Come to think of it, that really *is* a fantasy world …

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