by Jarrett Hoffman
With July 4th a day away, it’s as good a time as any for this conversation-starter: aside from The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful, what music do you most associate with the US of A? It may be the marches of J.P. Sousa, or it
could be a particular song by the Violent Femmes (“Do you liiiike American music?”). And it very well might be the works of a certain native-born composer that have graced more than a few programs this year.
The day after the United States turn 242, Ohio Light Opera will celebrate two more birthdays — the company’s 40th and Leonard Bernstein’s 100th — when they present that composer’s 1956 comic operetta Candide. Performances begin on July 5 at 2:00 pm in Freedlander Theatre at the College of Wooster and continue through August 10. (See their calendar for details.)
Directed by Steven A. Daigle and conducted by Steven Byess, the production also marks OLO’s first-ever performance of any Bernstein work. Ted Christopher, Alexa Devlin, Stephen Faulk, Benjamin Krumreig, Hannah Kurth, Daniel Neer, Sarah Polinski, and Stephen Walley will take on a cast of characters who are repeatedly killed, only to bizarrely turn up again in far-off locales and ever-stranger situations.