CANDIDE (1974): A score by legendary Leonard Bernstein is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Candide and its theatrical offerings. With a book from Hugh Wheeler and lyrical contributions from the incomparable Stephen Sondheim, Candide is a masterpiece for the ages.
In this lightning-paced musical, Candide — the bastard cousin of Baron Thunder-Ten-Tonck — is expelled from home, dragged into the Bulgarian army, brought before the Spanish Inquisition, swindled out of a fortune, shipwrecked on a desert isle and separated time and again from his true love, Cunegonde. She, too, bears a barrage of misfortunes, including, sale into prostitution, forced marriage to an exorbitantly wealthy man and slavery. Through it all, however, they try to remember the lessons of their dear master, Dr. Pangloss: "Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds."