Screen and stage actor James Dreyfus has stepped up to take on the role of Pangloss in the London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s upcoming concert presentation of Leonard Bernstein and Hugh Wheeler’s Candide.
The star of hit TV shows Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and The Thin Blue Line will return to the role of outrageously optimistic Pangloss in the performance at Cadogan Hall on 21 July.
Dreyfus, who previously won acclaim for his performance in the role in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of the show in 2013, will join the previously announced Rob Houchen (Les Misérables, Titanic) who takes on the title role.
Confirming his casting Dreyfus said: “I am very excited to be joining the London Musical Theatre Orchestra for their evening at the Cadogan Hall, especially as it’s to revisit Dr Pangloss in Candide. To be surrounded by such talented young singers and musicians is very comforting! Can’t wait.”
Other star names also confirmed include Louise Gold (The Mikado, Blood Brothers), Michael Matus (Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Phantom of the Opera), Stewart Clarke (Easy Virtue, The Moonstone), Anna O’Byrne (The Phantom of the Opera, The Magic Flute), and Jessica Duncan (Les Misérables, Ages).
The full chorus includes: Will Arundell, Paul Bradshaw, Maeve Byrne, Charlotte Clitherow, Hywel Dowsell, Rhiannon Doyle, David Fearn, Benjamin Froehlich, Alice Gruden, Richard James King, Jerome Knox, Ben Mabberley, Chris McGuigan, Danielle Morris, Sophie Reeves, Jemma Revell, Rebecca Ridout, Jacob Robson, Lydia Shaw, Katie Shearman, Tim Southgate, Kieran Sutcliffe, Veronica Van Muyen and Lizzie Wofford.
With LMTO founder and musical director Freddie Tapner returning to take up the baton, the 34-strong orchestra latest concert presentation follows on from the LMTO’s critically-acclaimed versions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair, seasonal sell-out performances of Alan Menken’s musical A Christmas Carol, and this year’s concert staging of Honeymoon in Vegas with the show’s composer Jason Robert Brown as guest conductor.
Announcing the final casting details, Tapner said: “For me, it is a dream cast for a dream show. Friday 21 July can’t come quickly enough.”
The creative team also includes director Shaun Kerrison, orchestra leader Debs White, sound designer Avgoustos Psillas for Autograph, lighting designer Mike Robertson, casting director Anne Vosser, orchestra fixer Paul Saunders, chorus manager Rebecca Rideout, production manager James Anderton and executive producers Clive Chenery and Joanne Benjamin.
The LMTO’s performance of Candide marks the start of next year’s Bernstein centenary celebrations.
First performed as an operetta on Broadway in 1956, Bernstein’s musical Candide is based on the satirical novella by Voltaire. Additional lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Bernstein himself.