By Ellis Nassour
A Must-See Earnest, and Not Just for the Cast
Roundabout’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is evidence that classics can weather the test of time. Starring and directed by Brian Bedford [based on his 2009 acclaimed production at Canada’s Stratford Skakespeare Festival] and an excellent ensemble, it’s as ROTF funny as when it prem’d on the West End in 1895 [at the time Wilde was embroiled in all manner of tawdry proceedings, legal and otherwise, and became a huge hit at a time when he was despeately in need of pounds].
As Lady Bracknell, Bedford, stunningly costumed and wigged out by Desmond Heely and Paul Huntley and made up by Angelina Avallone, is Aunt Margaret [Rutherford], Aunt Brooke [Astor], Aunt Edith [Evans], Aunt Flabby, and Aunt Bea at their Victorian-era upper crrust best. It’s almost worth the price of admission just to hear Bedford utter Wilde’s extraordinary line: "I beg your pardon?" He’s abbetted in this high-end comedy of errors by Santino Fontana, David Furr, Sara Topham, Charlotte Parry, and two of the best of the best stage vets, Dana Ivey and Paxton Whitehead. The revival’s brilliant, scene-stealing co-star are Heeley’s three ab fab sets. Roundabout should save them and open a tea parlor and garden right next to Shake Shack!
American Airlines Theatre
227 West 42 St. (7th & 8th Aves)
Ticket Services: 212.719.1300