Theater 2020’s Candide Dazzles

Theater 2020’s production of Candide (Photo by LAB Photography of cast members Ryan Farnsworth as Candide, Lorinne Lampert as the Old Lady, and Ellie Bensinger as Cunegonde; a video follows the jump) continues its run at St. Charles Borromeo Church this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 28 to March 2, and the following weekend, March 7-9. The show has received a rave review from Myra Chanin of Huffington Post.

Your correspondent attended the performance last Sunday, and can vouch for the appropriateness of Ms. Chanin’s praise for the actors and the production generally. I would add a couple of points. The interior of St. Charles Borromeo is beautiful, and the acoustics are near perfect, but it is not ideally configured for theater. The chancel is a couple of steps above the audience, but not raised to the level of a stage (though there is a pulpit, which is put to good use by several cast members, principally by Greg Horton as Dr. Pangloss) and the pews are not tiered like theater seats, so sight lines are a challenge. Producing Artistic Directors David Fuller and Judith Jarosz (disclosure: Mr.Fuller and Ms. Jarosz are neighbors and friends of your correspondent) have dealt with this deftly by having much of the action take place in the center aisle and by having characters sit or recline on the chancel rail. Actors occasionally clamber through and over the pews; as an audience member you may have to scoot to the side once or twice to let an actor pass. While Ms. Chanin mentions it, I also want to stress how much the Music Director, Ming Aldrich-Gan, adds to this production with his skillful arrangements and virtuoso piano playing.

Theater 2020 will have another of its popular Hearthside Readings at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (admisssion free; play to be announced) at 1:30 p.m. om Saturday, April 12, and will present Shakespeare’s King Lear at St. Charles Borromeo, and later at Brooklyn Bridge Park, in May and June. We’ll give you further details when available.

Video by Milady Macy (playwright and actress Lynn Marie Macy, President of Theater 2020’s Board).

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