“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, running Jan. 22 through Feb. 17, opens for reviewers Friday, Jan. 25.
What’s in a name? Wilde’s masterful comedy follows a young man and his friend on a journey that leads to an unexpected discovery. Part comedy, part mystery; this story of love, manners, and mistaken identity is a classic that never grows old.
The most renowned of Oscar Wilde’s plays, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is social satire at its finest, focusing on social class, hidden identities, and triviality. ‘Earnest’ delves deep into the double-lives of two affluent bachelors as they go from the city to the country and then back again.
We follow John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives. They attempt to win the hearts of two women who, conveniently, claim to only love men called Ernest. The pair struggle to keep up with their own stories and become tangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure. The elaborate plot ridicules Victorian sensibilities with some of the best loved, and indeed bizarre, characters to be found on the modern stage.
Anita Stewart, executive and artistic director of Portland Stage shared this: “The humor grows out of each of the character's desire to fill a role in society; it is situational - the sort of humor that never grows stale. Wilde has an uncanny knack for delivering truths that hit the mark. It is a delight to hear this play in the mouths of accomplished actors who parry with one another to delight the viewer.”
For more on Wilde, visit www.cmgww.com/historic/wilde.
For tickets and more information, call Portland Stage: 207-774-0465 or visit www.portlandstage.org.
The curtain will rise on “The Half-Light” by Monica Wood, Feb. 26-March 24; “Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morisseau, April 2 -21; and “The Last Five Years” by Jason Robert Brown, April 30- May 19.
Portland Stage Company is at 25A Forest Avenue in Portland.