Guardino's 'Italian Bred' Blends Humor, Tradition


MORRISTOWN, NJ – Actress and writer Candice Guardino is bringing her one-woman show, “Italian Bred,” to The Bickford Theatre on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6. The Saturday evening performance is at 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. The show has nothing to do with cooking, she emphasized, although the play on “bred’ and “bread” immediately connects with traditional Italian food.  Patrons can also take advantage of the New Jersey food trucks before the show.

In an interview, Ms. Guardino said she based the play on her family relationships, especially her Grandmother who came from Italy when a child and lived most of her life in Brooklyn.  “She’s the heart and soul of the show,” the actress said. “She was a brash and bawdy woman.” Although her granddaughter may have been just five or six at the time, Ms. Guardino said her grandmother treated her like an adult, so she had an unfiltered view of Italian customs and mores.  Ms. Guardino’s mother and father moved to Staten Island and she said her grandmother used to complain about crossing the Verrazano Bridge.

Guardino majored in theatre at Wagner College, located on Staten Island. She became addicted to theatre, noting, “There was nothing else I wanted to do.”  Although shy as a child, she said she took to the stage right away, both as a performer and a writer. During college, she studied in London and has visited Italy with her husband.  Guardino, although married, travels around the country with her dog, Cannoli, who helps her remain centered.

Sign Up for E-News

She has written for television and films, including this one-person play, which she has performed around the country, from Off Broadway in New York to Chicago, Los Angeles and, most recently, Asbury Park. “Every audience is different,” she said, “and I learn from them.” She has done her share of stand-up comedy, too, she said, which has given her insights on audience reaction.

Primarily, she said, “I just like to tell stories. That’s how all of this morphed into a show. It’s all about the dialogue.” The play, she said, seems to attract people of all ages, “from eight to 108.”  One patron told her, “It’s all about the wonder years.”  She has had a variety of agents over time, as well as mentors who have encouraged her along the way.  Her uncle, Harry Guardino, has enjoyed a successful film career. Among her video cameos are Leslie Jordan of “Will and Grace,” Mario Cantone of “Sex and the City” and Steve Schirripa of “The Sopranos.” In the future, she said, she would like to do a romantic comedy.

She compared her current play to the highly successful film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and often has celebrities appear on stage with her.  Her play is interspersed with a media screen, which shows some of the guests who have appeared with her.  She also referred to “The Sopranos” and “Good Fellas” with their Italian themes.  The play lasts just 85 minutes with no intermission.  She performs each character and relies on those shadings rather than changes of costume

Yes, she said, she grew up as a Roman Catholic “with a ton of guilt.”  But all those traits, good and bad, happy and sad, contribute to this tribute to her youth as an American girl, learning about the world and her family history.   “I hope people will come and laugh and cry and laugh again,” she said of the cornucopia of emotions in “Italian Bred.”

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Friends and Family Week at THE MAX Challenge of New Providence

March 22, 2018

We have had people tell us that they haven’t exercised for years before enrolling with us and just a few short weeks into their 10 week challenge they rave about their energy level, their focus, their confidence and so much more!

Exercise is for EVERYONE! Put your faith in a program that is Dynamic, Led by a team of owners, ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...

Rutgers University Percussionist Leads Day of Percussion at New Jersey Youth Symphony April 14

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ—Traveling by car and bus from Albany, Paterson, and New Brunswick, over 70 young percussionist from middle school to undergrad will convene at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence on Saturday, April 14 for a Day of Percussion. Led by Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Art’s Head of Percussion, Joseph Tompkins, students from New Providence and surrounding ...

Thank You From Mayor Al Morgan

March 16, 2018

This past week will certainly be remembered by us all for a very, very long time. Thank you hardly seems sufficient, but it is the very least we can express in appreciation for all the incredible acts of kindness, generosity, selflessness, and volunteerism our community received this past week during and after the storm.

Thank you to all of our residents for their patience, understanding, and ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert, Spring Edition

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

Somerset County Freeholders Endorse Armed Security in all Somerset County Schools

March 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Following the Parkland, Fla school shooting last month in which 17 students and staff were killed, Somerset County Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione and Freeholder Mark Caliguire Thursday announced that the freeholder board will fund a second armed school resource officer at the county Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, and urged every school ...

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

March 20, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Fri, March 23, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Vinayasa Flow

Health & Wellness


Fri, March 23, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 9:15 AM

Oakwood Park, New Providence

New Providence Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt

Giving Back

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...