Chicago Theatre Review
Flashing Wit and Charm on Full Display at Oak Park’s ‘Earnest’
The Importance of Being Earnest – Oak Park Festival
Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” is widely recognized as one of the most delicious witty plays in English theater, and those qualities are on full display at Oak Park Festival Theatre’s staging of the work – and I say that having not even seen the production to its conclusion!
Alas, the production I saw was called off at the two-hour mark on account of rain, but such is the quality of the Oak Park production I’m eagerly awaiting a second (and hopefully complete!) performance.
A tale of romantic folly amongst the British aristocracy, “Earnest” concerns mistaken identities, fabricated siblings, and thwarted romance, all of which is delivered in Wilde’s distinctly elegant, hilarious dialogue. And with such a uniformly talented cast, particularly Belinda Bremner, Mark Richard, and Jude Willis, the shameless glee and wit of the production comes across almost effort, bon mot by bon mot. And as with Oak Park’s production last summer of “Amadeus,” all the staging and costuming are spot-on, never too stuffy for the outdoor venue but never too minor or glib.
So weather permitting, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is more than worth one’s time.
Reviewed by Peter Thomas Ricci
Presented July 24 – August 23 at Oak Park Festival Theatre in Austin Gardens, Oak Park IL 60302
Tickets are available by calling (708) 445-4440 or by visiting http://oakparkfestival.com.
Additional information about this and other spectacular area productions is available at the one, the only, the indefatigable www.theatreinchicago.com.