Bernard Shaw described his "Candida" as a "pleasant play," but Shaw's pleasantries cover some serious ground: Victorian political and religious institutions, societal assumptions about marital roles, and a sundry tossing-up and turning-around of late 19th-century assumptions. The subjects discussed may be faded now, but the dialogue remains stimulating, surprising, and funny.
Candida Morell is a minister's wife who has to choose between her pompous husband, and the affections (and affectations) of a teenaged, self-proclaimed poet. She chooses the weaker man — but to find out who Shaw thinks that is, you will just have to see Classics Theater of Rochester's presentation this weekend and next. The group is gradually working its way through Shaw's plays ("Candida" is number four). Ted Wenskus plays Reverend Morell, Fred Pienkoski plays Eugene Marchbanks, and Karen Craft is the fascinating Candida.
Classics Theater of Rochester will present Shaw's "Candida" on Friday, August 14, through Saturday, August 22, at MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue. 8 p.m. on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sunday. $12-$15. Muccc.org.