This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Continues through Sept. 4 2011
Price: $35-$66

A century-old feminist play deserves a credible female lead, particularly if it has as much staying power as George Bernard Shaw's Candida. Julie Eccles is certainly up to the task. She cuts a striking figure in California Shakespeare Theater's new production, directed by Jonathan Moscone. In the play, Eccles plays a clever, dishy, somewhat manipulative, but genuinely kind-hearted Victorian woman torn between her Christian-Socialist husband and the young poet who is competing for her affections. As the husband, Anthony Fusco plays an apt straight man to the foppish poet Eugene (Nick Gabriel). The three occupy a period set conceived by Annie Smart, complete with Virgin Mary paintings and paraffin lamps. Shaw's script is droll, the comedy split evenly between the lead characters and several minor parts. Provocative for its time, it remains relevant today -- even as Moscone stays faithful to the source material. Through Sept. 4 at Bruns Amphitheatre (100 California Shakespeare Way, Orinda). $35-$66. 510-548-9666 or CalShakes.org

— Rachel Swan

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