Reviews in for Skylark’s ‘Candide,’ Kurt Weill review

Skylark Opera is presenting two operettas in repertory: Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and “From Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill.”

Critics found these productions by turn “witty” and “heartfelt” with a first class cast, but one critic thought this production could have gone deeper.

From William Randall Beard at the Star Tribune:

Bernstein’s score for “Candide” is one of the most brilliant in Broadway history, but it has always had a troublesome libretto. There are many different versions out there, with a number of lyricists trying their hands at it. Director Robert Neu borrows from two versions to create his own fast-moving edition. His witty production plays up Voltaire’s biting satire, while intensifying the touching, heartfelt ending, “Make Your Garden Grow.”

From John Olive at HowWasTheShow.com:

For Berlin To Broadway With Kurt Weill, Skylark has assembled a boffo ensemble: the uber-marvelous Bradley Greenwald; the poised Christina Baldwin, she of the impish grin; the passionate and operatic Vicki Fingalson (her voice floats, effortlessly); the quietly powerful Dieter Bierbrauer. Excellent actors and fabulous singers, to a person. The show was staged by the estimable Wendy Knox.

From Rob Hubbard at the Pioneer Press:

There’s a reason that “Candide” is considered one of literature’s great masterpieces and that Bernstein is regarded as a master of melody, but Skylark’s staging does more impressive things with the music than the story. It’s a campy “Candide” that could benefit from a brisker pace and more over-the-top abandon. While entertaining, it misses opportunities to be funnier and more deeply rewarding.

“Candide’s” remaining performances are Friday and Sunday; Kurt Weill’s “Berlin to Broadway” runs Thursday and Saturday.

All Skylark Opera performances are at the E.M. Pearson Theatre on the Concordia University campus in St. Paul.