Candida
Reviewed by David Kashimba

Though set at the turn of the last century, Bernard Shaw's Candida is contemporary with the new millennium. Happily married to the Reverend James Morell (Matt Gottlieb), Candida (Stacy Roos) suddenly finds herself a little infatuated by a young house quest. Eugene Marchbanks (David Agranov) is the young sensitive poet who has no qualms about telling Candida, and her husband, that he's madly in love with her. While most people feel that sensitivity requires a lot of discretion to protect other people's feelings, Marchbanks lets his sensitivity cup run over everyone.

This trait, played to the hilt by Agranov, leaves the audience with two reactions. They either laugh at his antics or they simply want to kill him to shut him up. Often both reactions come simultaneously, and this is part of the fun of this fine production directed by Amy Glazer.

It gets even better when Candida is asked by her husband and the young poet to make a choice. Who does she belong to? Her husband who she's bound to by emotion and law? Marchbanks who she's bound to by emotion and emotion and more emotion? Or does she really only belong to herself, bound only by her individuality? As these questions are dealt with, a sense of madness fills the household, which adds more laughter to this thought-provoking drama. How Candida handles this perplexing dilemma shows how ahead of his time Shaw was when it came to understanding women and their right to choose.

With great performances by the entire cast, this memorable drama is a must see. For tickets call (415) 388-5208.

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