A charming English comedy. The central characters are a clergyman, his wife Candida and a young poet who tries to win her affections. Directed by Mort Paterson.
News About Candida at Undercroft Theatre at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church
BWW Review: CANDIDA at Washington Stage Guild
October 02, 2019
Washington Stage Guild's production of Candida gave life to an extremely charming George Bernard Shaw comedic classic. Bernard Shaw's story follows a tangled romance between a preacher, Reverend Morell, his wife, Candida, and a young poet who wishes to win her heart, Eugene Marchbanks. Nathan Whitmer as Reverend Morell, presents a clergyman as a Christian Socialist dedicated to his work and intending to do right by everyone in his life. Whitmer's interpretation of the character is ruled by the balance between his patience and his passion. Whitmer as Morell also shows a touching fondness for his on and off stage wife, Emilie Faith Thompson as Candida, which added an especially sweet quality to the production. Thompson presents a preacher's wife, mother, and house-maker who navigates such with grace and charm. Thompson approaches the text with tact and careful consideration, successfully portraying the most sensible character in the show. Ben Ribler as Eugene Marchbanks, creates a very anxious, and occasionally manic young poet, drunk in love with the Reverend's wife. Much like his on-stage competitor, Ribler also builds this amazing juxtaposition between his passion and his sensibility, up until his passion overruns all logical thought and he descends into his overwhelming obsession for Candida. The cast is also joined by supporting characters, Ms. Prosperine Garnett, the Reverend's secretary, Reverend Lexy Mill, Morell's curate, and Candida's father, Mr. Burgess. Danielle Scott as Ms. Garnett created a classic busybody secretary, both disciplined and dedicated, and consistently amusing. Danny Beason as Reverend Lexy managed with the little stage time he had to make an impression as a lackadaisical yet dutiful curate to the Reverend Morell, further fortifying the respect people have for the Reverend. The cast is rounded out by seasoned David Bryan Jackson, who portrayed Candida's money-on-the-mind father, Mr. Burgess. Jackson had a particularly acute talent of delivering his performance with comedic ease. The direction of Lauren Ghiradelli, a company member of the Washington Stage Guild, has navigated a dexterous script, chock full of lyricism and the beautiful, clever language of Shaw. And in doing so, raised questions about marriage, the expectations placed on it, and the dynamic between husband and wife in the Victorian era. Overall, the production is lively, wildly amusing, and nothing less than charming.