Bobby Steggert and Marc Kudisch Begin Wooing A Minister's Wife Off-Broadway April 7
By Adam Hetrick
A Minister's Wife, the new musical version of George Bernard Shaw's Candida penned by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton, Joshua Schmidt and Jan Tranen, begins performances April 7 at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
Tony Award nominees Bobby Steggert (Ragtime, The Grand Manner) and Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, The Apple Tree) and Jeff Award-winning Chicago actress Kate Fry (Oh Coward!) make up the love triangle central to Shaw's tale of a wife asked to chose between her tight-laced husband and a handsome young poet. Based on the first 1898 version of Candida, the musical A Minister's Wife debuted at the Writer's Theatre in Glencoe, IL, in May 2009.
Completing the cast are Liz Baltes and Drew Gehling. Fry and Baltes both appeared in the 2009 premiere of the musical.
Writer's Theatre artistic director Michael Halberstam, who conceived the production and staged the premiere, directs the LCT production that will officially open May 8 for a run through June 12.
Tony-nominated actor and director Pendleton, who also wrote Orson's Shadow and Uncle Bob, penned the adaptation with a score by Adding Machine composer Schmidt and lyrics by Tranen.
"I’ve always wanted to work with Austin Pendleton," Steggert told Playbill.com. "Austin is a great collaborator. He gives you wonderful ideas, but he also really respects and admires what you yourself bring to the part.
“I’m reading a biography of Shaw, and it’s been very helpful in my preparation because every playwright writes himself into all of his characters," he continued. "I see so much Marchbanks in young George Bernard Shaw as he moved to London and tried to find his place in the world. They both have a naïve and boastful ignorance that is both terribly frustrating and incredibly charming. I wonder if he’d have seen it or admitted it."
The play, according to Lincoln Center Theater, "explores the fires burning beneath the surface of a seemingly ordinary marriage. The Revered James Morell (Kudisch) and his wife, Candida (Fry), are happily married – or at least they think – until a romantic young poet (Steggert) enters their life."
A Minister's Wife has sets by Allen Moyer, costumes by David Zinn, lighting by Keith Parham, sound by Scott Stauffer, orchestrations by Joshua Schmidt, musical direction by Richard Carsey and is conducted by Tim Splain.
Tickets, priced at $75 and $85, are available by visiting LCT.
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