The Importance of Being Earnest at the Shakespeare Theatre

If you're reading this, and you're undecided on whether or not you're going to see this production, here's what I need you to do:  GO SEE IT.

I honestly don't have anything much more to say on the subject.  My main issues were very nitpicky, easily fixed little things.  We'll start with the things that I liked, and then you can stop there if I've convinced you to go see it, and we can talk about the other stuff after you've seen it.

It's hard to go wrong with this play, really, particularly if you've got a good Lady Bracknell.  I won't spoil anything for you, but this production has a great Lady Bracknell in Siân Phillips.  All the costumes were exquisite, but her dresses are the ones I'd steal first.  However, the real star of this show, for me, were the sets.  They were breathtaking.  The show starts in Algernon's (Anthony Roach) London townhouse, sumptuously decorated with comfy couches, elegant coffee tables, and a white grand piano.  After the first intermission, the curtains open on a incredible country garden.  A few moments after, I actually smelled the flowers - I'm not sure if they're using an insane amount of real flowers, or if they perfume the stage, but it was the coolest thing, and took me so much farther into the world.  Gregory Wooddell was appropriately handsome and charming as John Worthing (aka Ernest), so it's no wonder that Gwendolyn (Vanessa Morosco) falls for him.

As for problems that I had - I wasn't sure if Cecily (Katie Fabel) had a ribbon at the bottom of her skirt, or if it wasn't finished.  I'm really hoping it's the former, but I'm not sure.  The accents were generally solid (my companion that night is from England, so he heard a few slips that I didn't pick up on, but overall he was very impressed).  He and I both though that Roach was digging too hard for laughs at times, which isn't at all necessary for this show.

And that's it.  Literally, those are the only things that I had issues with.  Probably you should go ahead and go see this show.  It's a fun, light-hearted, entertaining, and beautiful night at the theatre.

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oliver Wilde
directed by Keith Baxter
by the Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Lansburgh Theatre
through March 16


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