Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review of Importance of Being Earnest, Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theatre

The Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theater consistently produces fine plays, whether it is “hold your breath heart stopping drama” or “over the top satiric comedy.”  Their latest production of the "Importance of being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde with an all male cast and a brief prologue and briefer epilogue is another example of excellence.
Oscar Wilde’s play "The Importance of Being Earnest" is a satiric comedy on Victorian Life in England.  It is fascinating to watch the length the main characters go to hide the lives they have constructed to relieve boredom yet still being seen as socially acceptable. 

The "love bug" has bitten both of the characters and their efforts to obtain what they want and still keep their lives intact are interesting and amusing to watch.
Both young men, Jack "Earnest" Worthing  and  his friend Algernon have constructed a series of fabrications about  the name  "Earnest" and do a number of "quick thinking"  maneuvers to try to maintain  the facade they have woven.  Each maneuver creates another problem and the complications are hilarious and rueful to watch.  

While most people find the play funny and delightful (which I do) I feel a touch of sadness and irony about the play and the various scenarios we produce in our lives to maintain "respectability" and relieve boredom.  

The Importance of Being Earnest, produced by PICT, and adapted by director Conall Morrison is a wonderful end of summer treat...go...laugh and enjoy... and maybe afterward look at the lessons hidden in the hilarity of the comedy.
Joann R. Forrester
"The Empress of Biz"

Wikipedia Synopsis of Play
Ernest Worthing. Ernest has come from the country to propose to Algernon's cousin, Gwendolen. Algernon, however, refuses his consent until Ernest explains why his cigarette case bears the inscription, "From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack." "Ernest" is forced to admit to living a double life. In the country, he assumes a serious attitude for the benefit of his young ward, Cecily, and goes by the name of John (or Jack), while pretending that he must worry about a wastrel younger brother named Ernest in London. In the city, meanwhile, he assumes the identity of the libertine Ernest. Algernon confesses a similar deception: he pretends to have an invalid friend named Bunbury in the country, whom he can "visit" whenever he wishes to avoid an unwelcome social obligation. Jack, however, refuses to tell Algernon the location of his country estate. Gwendolen and her formidable mother Lady Bracknell then call on Algernon. As he distracts Lady Bracknell in another room, Jack proposes to Gwendolen. She accepts, but seems to love him very largely for his professed name of Ernest; Jack resolves to himself to be rechristened "Ernest". Lady Bracknell discovers them and interrogates Jack as a prospective suitor. Horrified that he was adopted after being discovered as a baby in a handbag at Victoria Station, she refuses him and forbids further contact. Gwendolen, however, manages covertly to swear her undying love. As Jack gives her his address in the country, Algernon surreptitiously notes it on the cuff of his sleeve; Jack's revelation of his pretty young ward has motivated Algernon to meet her.

JoAnn R. Forrester "Empress of Biz" TalkCast Host Point is..
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