Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ernest In Love

photo: Carol Rosegg

I wouldn't go so far as to say that this musicalization of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is a lost gem found, but it certainly has its charms. To its credit it's true to the spirit of Wilde's delicious comedy of manners, and its songs are well-placed and musically pleasing. This revival (at Irish Rep) is not ideal - for one thing it's cheap-looking to a distracting degree - but most of the cast is terrific and make the most of the lively, amusing material. I especially liked male leads Noah Racey and Ian Holcomb - the former gets a moment to give his tap shoe leather a workout, and the latter rides a fun line between carnal and dandy. The always-great Beth Fowler has still-lipped fun with the patter song "A Handbag Is Not A Proper Mother".

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