Rehearsals are underway for the upcoming Good Neighbors Theatre production of Oscar Wilde’s classic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest.
First performed on February 14, 1895 at St. James’s Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the main characters maintain fictitious identities in order to escape burdensome social obligations.
The Importance of Being Earnest has been revived many times since its premiere. It has been adapted for the cinema on several occasions, the first in 1952, where Dame Edith Evans reprised her celebrated interpretation of Lady Bracknell, and most recently in 2002, by Oliver Parker who incorporated some of Wilde’s original material cut during the preparation of the original stage production.
The latest screen adaptation starred Ruppert Everett, Colin Firth, Frances O’Connor, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Massey, and Dame Judi Dench (of James Bond fame) as Lady Bracknell.
The story centers on two young gentlemen living in 1890’s England who have taken to bending the truth in order to put some excitement into their lives.
This is fine until they both fall in love with women using the same name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities.
Whenever Jack Worthing (played by Louis Davis) slips away to London from his Hertfordshire estate he says he is going to see his fictitious wayward brother Ernest.
Once there he keeps his privacy by calling himself Ernest – luckily so, as his beloved Gwendolen (Aliea Garner) declares she could only love an Ernest. Her cousin Algernon (Donovan Hatfield) is the one person who knows Jack’s secret and one day he travels down to the estate, announcing himself to Jack’s attractive ward Cecily (Amanda Hatfield) as bad brother Ernest.
Cecily is much taken with him and with his name. On Jack’s return home and Gwendolen’s unexpected arrival it becomes clear there are both too many and too few Ernests earnestly courting.
Rounding out the cast are Melva Nunnery as Gwendolen’s domineering mother and Algernon’s aunt Lady Bracknell, Jack Eliassen as Rev. Dr. Chausable, Beverly Hammock as Cecily’s governess Miss Prism, Linda Crouch as Algy’s housekeeper Mrs. Lane, and Gary Cantrell as Jack’s butler Merriman.
Production dates will be Thursday, May 16, 7 pm, Saturday, May 18 at 7 pm, Sunday, May 19, 2 pm, and Thurs – Sat., May 23, 24, and 25 at 7 pm.
Tickets will be $12.00 per seat and will go on sale Mon 5-6. Thursday, May 16 will feature opening night special pricing with all seats $10.00.
Tickets may be purchased or reserved at Business Express in Byrdstown or by calling 931-864-7999.
The production is under the direction of Amanda Hatfield and Melva Nunnery.