The Importance of Being Earnest

By Zoe Wolfe 11th Grade, Hunter College High School

The Importance of Being Earnest is a story about two friends and their attempts to woo two different women using the same name. Algernon “Algy” Moncrieff bursts onstage in a red-and-white striped shirt paired with the vest and pants of a beige plaid three-piece suit, and, to top it off, a blue bowtie. His mere costume induces the first bout of laughter, but his witty lines quickly cause even more. All of Earnest can be equated to Algy’s first entrance: loud, riotous, and pretty darn hilarious. Though none of the other characters quite match his level of craziness, they balance him out and are funny in their own way.

The director, Brian Bedford, paid very close attention to character. Though he highlighted obvious inherent similarities, each personality was unique and added significantly to the comedic nature of the play. Bedford embraced the ludicrous nature of Oscar Wilde’s play and fully drew out the slapstick, which resulted in everything being crystal clear. Bedford also plays the role of Lady Bracknell, a pompous old woman obsessed with appearances. So, what exactly is the importance of being earnest? It’s being loud, and being funny and taking risks in the hope that everything will turn out okay at the end of the night. And that’s exactly what this play was. Earnest. TICKETS: thru 7/3 • $22 general rush • American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. website