Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati's stage for the classics, is delighted to present Osacr Wilde's most perfect comedy, "The Importance of Being Earnest" playing from November 23- December 16, 2012. This production is directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips and features CSC Resident Ensemble Members Sara Clark, Jeremy Dubin, Jessie Wray Goodman, Jim Hopkins and Brent Vimtrup. The production design is generously sponsored by Towne Properties.
In a classic tale of romance and folly, two beautiful ladies, Gwendolen Fairfax (Sara Clark) and Cecily Cardew (Jessie Wray Goodman) are pursued by two dashing gentleman, John Worthing (Jeremy Dubin) and Algernon Moncrieff (Brent Vimtrup). However Mr. Worthing's mischievous brother Earnest and Mr. Moncrieff ailing friend Bunbury always complicate matters - especially since they don't actually exist. And to make matters worse for Gwendolen and Mr. Worthing, they must contend with the disapproval of Gwendolen's mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell (Jim Hopkins). One of the funniest comedies in the English language, "The Importance of Being Earnest" provides an examination of the hypocrisies and conventions of a so-called well-mannered society.
"The Importance of Being Earnest" was first performed on February 14, 1895 at the St. James's Theatre in London. The original Broadway production opened at the Empire Theater a few months later on April 22, 1895. Reviews all praised the play's humor and foresaw the modern consensus that it would be considered the culmination of Wilde's artistic career. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make "The Importance of Being Earnest" Wilde's most enduringly popular play. It has been revived many times since its premiere and has been adapted for the cinema on three occasions. John Gielgud was possibly the most famous Jack Worthing of the twentieth century, and his 1939 production was seen as a model for later performances. The play has been performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival five times beginning in 1975 with William Hutt playing "Lady Bracknell" in both the 1975 and 1976 productions and Brian Bedford in the 2009 production. In 2011, the Roundabout Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival based on the 2009 Stratford Shakespeare Festival production featuring Brian Bedford as director and as Lady Bracknell. It was nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play and Best Leading Actor in a Play for Bedford.