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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Kandi Krumins Embraces Her Role as Dr. Howard

Kandi Krumins kills it as the doctor in red, in The Vast Difference.  With Kyle Bushre as George.
The Vast Difference challenges sexual stereotypes in a comedic look at the chasm between men and women.  Jeff Daniels’ quirky comedy was written in 1993, when male flight attendants and female doctors were an anomaly.   And though acceptance of women in different professional roles has improved, sexism still prevails in many areas of life.  In the Farmington Players’ production of The Vast Difference – three shows left, October 13-15 – Kandi Krumins plays Dr. Hala Howard, a urologist.   Kandi can definitely relate to “being a well-educated, professional woman and sometimes not having been taken seriously… particularly with a name like ‘Kandi’.  It’s changed some over the last 20 years, but some of that sexist attitude still lingers. Life has prepared me for dealing with this role.” 

Kandi’s describes her character, Dr. Howard, as “a urologist with a dry sense of humor.”  She interacts mainly with George Noonan (played by Kyle Bushre), who is terrified to get the vasectomy she would perform for him.  While Kandi usually portrays the doctor with a no-nonsense approach, she explains how she gets to have fun with the role:  “Because the play takes place in George’s mind, there are times when Hala gets to show a different side to her, so I get to change her character up several times in the show, based on George’s imagination. That is fun!  One of the biggest challenges of this role is staying serious when I must. I often want to laugh at the others on stage … even now.” 

Kandi’s character change is the most striking during a fantasy scene when George imagines he is dancing with Hala, as Kandi’s red dress is in stark contrast to her white doctor’s uniform.  Kandi’s graceful performance, both as dancer and doctor, makes it look so easy that audiences would never know that she only had a dozen days to prepare for the role of Hala.   As a late fill-in for an actor who had to drop out of the show, Kandi stepped up to the challenge with her usual enthusiasm: “Instead of feeling ‘stressed’ over the time crunch I had in order to learn lines for this show, this fun show was something I needed right now in my life… for me.  99% of my lines are with Kyle (George) who is not only a wonderful person, but an amazing actor with great sense of comedic timing. I’ve learned a lot from him.  The rest of the cast, and I mean every one of them, have been a joy to work with. Being around a cast like this makes me want to ‘step up my game’.”   Kandi has definitely embraced the challenge and knows that audiences have loved the show because “it’s funny, but also has serious heartfelt moments. It is well executed.”

Kandi grew up in Dearborn, the youngest of six children.  She taught public middle school most of her life, then in 2010 left the profession to homeschool her children and write a musical.  She calls this decision “one of my better choices in life.” 

The Farmington Players production of The Vast Difference is proudly sponsored by Mall Malisow & Cooney. The 3 remaining performances are October 13, 14 and 15, 2016. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by contacting the Barn box office at boxoffice@farmingtonplayers.org or 248-553-2955.

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