New Production
Tanglewood Music Festival, August 2018
Presented by The Knights


Director: Alison Moritz
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen
Choreographer: John Heginbotham
Production Design: Aaron Copp
Costume Design: Amanda Seymour
Hair and Makeup: Tommy Kurzman
Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan


In an evening of unending joys and marvel, the particular joy of this production was its exuberant, impudent sense of play; its smart invention and imagination; the breathtaking skill and talent to pull it off.. (Berkshire Eagle)

Under the stage direction of Alison Moritz, music direction and conducting of The Knights’ co-artistic director, Eric Jacobsen, and John Heginbotham’s choreography, Bernstein’s problem-child seemed more like a wunderkind. (Berkshire Eagle)

“Moritz’ concept and staging, along with John Heginbotham’s choreography and Knights’ co-artistic director Eric Jacobsen’s musical direction and seamless performances from a uniformly accomplished cast was smooth, lucid, buoyant. What an evening of theater!” (Berkshire Eagle)

“Bernstein and all his creative partners would have been exhilarated by this Candide.  Regrettably it had only two brilliant performances.” (Berkshire Onstage)

The Knights’ production was supremely satisfying and intelligent, emphasizing equally the show’s dazzling orchestral music, delicious book, glorious lyrics and carefully calibrated comic acting. (The Berkshire Edge)

In this space, stage director Alison Moritz and choreographer John Heginbotham have developed a fast-moving comic take on Bernstein’s work, though the comedy is often intercut with unexpected passages of great poignancy. (Classical Scene)


Leonard Bernstein’s delicious operetta takes us around the world in under three hours, following our hero’s picaresque adventures and vast changes of fortune as he encounters a dazzling array of characters (and caricatures).

But how to evoke all this on the concert stage?

Maestro Eric Jacobsen and I have re-imagined Bernstein’s baroque romp as a clown-car of a production – a compact package consisting of a one ring circus tent, a single trunk containing props, and a lean ensemble of 13 singers and dancers. In this production, Voltaire’s “best of all possible world’s” becomes “the greatest show on Earth,” and a modern circus provides a new context in which to explore the humor in violence, the hope in tragedy, our fantasies and our fears.