‘Candida’ makes light of love and life

The Shakespeare ’70 Company debuted its most recent production, George Bernard Shaw’s “Candida,” in the Don Evans Black Box Theatre Thursday night in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

The play handles the themes of marriage and romance, incorporating twists of humor and satire within the roles of each character.

Candida Morell, played by Janet Quartarone, vice president and director of Marketing for the production company SIMULATIONS, Inc., is the central figure upon which the play is based.

She is forced to choose between her clergyman husband – Reverend James Mavor Morell, played by Steve Lobis, an English teacher at Notre Dame High School – and her immature poet lover – Eugene Marchbanks, played by Patrick Albanesius, a 2003 College alumnus.

The early 1900’s themed set fit in perfectly with the personalities of each character.

Quartarone put on a fantastic performance in the role of Candida, clearly portraying her wise and witty character.

“Well, if you want original conversation,” Candida said to Marchbanks, “you better talk to yourself.”

Her stage presence was sharp and entertaining, and her words clearly drew the crowd in.

Gina Yanuzzi, a 2007 College alumna, put on a superb performance as Miss Proserpine “Prossy” Garnett, with humorous remarks and blunt phrases.

“You silly old fathead,” she said fervently to Mr. Burgess, Candida’s father.

Rupert Hinton stole the show in his pompous portrayal of Burgess. He represented his impolite and crude character to perfection and was able to illustrate a hint of likeability with his ardent ability to entertain a crowd.

Throughout the play, the quarrel between Morell and Marchbanks for the love and affection of Candida was amusing and comical.

Both actors put on outstanding portrayals of their characters. Lobis’ character is the antithesis of Albanesius’.

Marchbanks is young and exuberant and has a superb way with words.

“He does talk pretty,” Burgess said, referring to Marchbanks.

Morell is older and more mature but lacks the words to sweep Candida off her feet.

Fred Halperin’s role of Reverend Alexander “Levy” Mill was small, but his scene with Yanuzzi after they return from dinner was enjoyable and engaging.

Both lighten the mood in the midst of a deepening love triangle.

“Candida” is playing at the Black Box Theater Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.