Utah Arts Review: Utah Symphony’s delightful “Candide” makes the best of all possible versions

By Edward Reichel

The Utah Symphony is closing out its year-long Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration with a semi-staged production of Candide. Joined by the Utah Opera Chorus and a strong cast of singer-actors under the baton of music director Thierry Fischer, Friday night’s performance was a delightful musical journey.

Trying to make sense of the story is nearly impossible. The musical, based on Voltaire’s novella of the same name, is a nonsensical adventure that takes the cast and audience through Europe and even to South America, without ever really trying to give any plausible explanation. It’s an absurdist romp, and this production, directed by Garnett Bruce, plays it for laughs and never takes itself too seriously, except for the finale, the moving “Make Our Garden Grow.”

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