Sondheim-Inspired Production of George Bernard Shaw’s Candida Announces Cast
The upcoming fall production at Off-Broadway’s Theatre Row will star Fat Ham’s R.J. Foster as Reverend James Morell and Queen’s Avanthika Srinivasan as Candida.
BY LEAH PUTNAM
AUGUST 30, 2022
The upcoming fall production of George Bernard Shaw’s Candida at Off-Broadway’s Theatre Row has announced its cast. Previews for the Sondheim-inspired production from Gingold Theatrical Group in Theatre Two will begin October 5 ahead of its October 25 opening night. The limited run has scheduled performances through November 19.
GTG Founding Artistic Director David Staller will direct the production starring R.J. Foster (Fat Ham) as Morell, Peter Romano (First Down) as Lexy, David Ryan Smith (Epiphany) as Burgess, Avanthika Srinivasan (Queen) as Candida, Avery Whitted (Against the Hillside) as Marchbanks, and Amber Reauchean Williams (Behind the Sheet) as Prossy.
Serving as understudies will be Alton Alburo (to the yellow house), Fernando Lamberty (Law & Order: Organized Crime), and Matenin Sangare (School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play).
“Stephen Sondheim and I were first introduced when I was 15 through my godmother [and A Little Night Music’s original Madame Armfeldt] Hermione Gingold (for whom we named Gingold Theatrical Group),” said Staller in a statement. “Our common link was a fascination with George Bernard Shaw, especially his activism and humanitarianism. Sondheim claimed that there was nothing he wrote that was not inspired by Shaw. We enjoyed lively debates over the many unanswered questions raised by Candida in particular. It was the only Shaw play that he’d considered setting to music. Though we won’t be turning the play into a musical, we will be resetting the play in a manner that Sondheim had been suggesting for years: in New York City at a time when the church (desperate to get people to come back for Sunday services) began sending their rock-star ministers to underserved communities at the end of the 1920s, which paralleled the time when Shaw wrote the play in London’s 1890s. It’s incredibly exasperating that Sondheim is no longer around to challenge us as we dive into this glorious comedy, but I feel this production will be a tribute to him, his love of George Bernard Shaw, and our long friendship.”
Featured on the creative team will be scenic designer Lindsay Genevieve Fuori, lighting designer Jamie Roderick, sound designer Michael Costagliola, and costume designer Dustin Cross. Props will be by Sean Sanford, and hair design by The Wig Associates. Caroline Ragland will serve as production stage manager, with Julie Gottfried as assistant stage manager.
The play follows Reverend James Morell and his wife Candida, who live a comfortable life until everything is thrown into question by new housemate and young poet, Marchbanks. In a time of global turmoil, six characters gather to reconsider how they define themselves and how they will move forward into their futures.
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