OGDEN, Utah, June 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A transsexual actress and a stern social activist find themselves thrown together in the Utah premiere of “Candy & Dorothy.”
Will Catholic worker/organizer Dorothy Day be able to save herself, and maybe another lost soul? Will Andy Warhol favorite Candy Darling be able to help Dorothy, thus earning some equivalent of her Frank Capra “wings?”
And what would Capra think of the adult language and topics in this fierce and funny social comedy, winner of the GLAAD Award, in its Utah premiere for a very limited run that ends Sunday.
Some, but not all, of these vexing questions will be answered tonight and Sunday in the final performances of “Candy & Dorothy,” by David Johnston, being produced by In The Now Productions.
This unique show has its three remaining (of six total) performances, at 8 p.m. tonight, June 23, and 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. It’s at the Eccles Theatre, in the Browning Center, Weber State University, 3750 Harrison Blvd., Ogden.
The two lead characters are based on real people, but there’s no evidence they met in real life, and it’s pretty unlikely these opposites ever traveled in the same circles.
Willie Richardson plays Candy (born James Lawrence Slattery), an Old Hollywood-obsessed Marilyn Monroe knock off with a little something extra. Candy is sweet as her name, and a gentle soul who just wants some respect — and maybe a little adoration — for the battles she has fought to become who she is.
Her unlikely charge is Dorothy Day, a woman who lived a colorful life before she joined the Catholic Church and turned her passion to feeding the poor, organizing the workers, and dismissing all things frivolous — including that wacko Warhol and his pop-culture paintings of Campbell’s soup cans.
The cantankerous Dorothy is played deftly by Nell Gwynn, who appeared in the original Off Broadway production in 2006.
Add to that mix LaToya Cameron as a troubled, young librarian, unhappy despite a bag of ecstasy, astonished to find herself in the mix; and Tyson Baker as her usually mellow sometimes beau.
Phillip R. Lowe rounds out the cast, playing multiple characters and adding to each scene in which he appears.
To tell you much more would be to ruin all the unexpected laughs, the hard-won revelations, and a satisfying if vague ending.
Just know this is a rare opportunity to see something grownup and refreshingly different. It’s funny and insightful, and it probably won’t be back anytime soon.
So if you can handle adult language and themes, and compelling characters who may have made different life choices than you — and some heterosexual kissing, the program cautions — make seeing this show a priority.
Time’s almost up.