Helen Cespedes (left) and Kate Abbruzzese in "The Importance of Being Earnest." Photo by Jim Cox
As dependable as the sun coming up over the English countryside, Oscar Wilde’s venerable comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest entertains mightily, staging after staging. So it goes at the Old Globe Theatre, whose production directed by Mara Aitken is both eye candy and ear candy. Inhabiting its sumptuous sets designed by Hugh Landwehr and romantically lit by Philip S. Rosenberg, a smart and sprightly cast milks every drop from Wilde’s shamelessly witty script. Both the male leads, Matt Schwader (as Worthing) and Christian Conn (as Algernon), and all three female principals (Kate Abbruzzese as Gwendolen, Helen Cespedes as Cecily and Helen Carey as Lady Bracknell) look tremendous, first of all, in Fabio Toblini’s costumes; yet it’s their verbal thrusting and parrying as they play the story’s delicious games that are most engaging about this lush production.
The Importance of Being Earnest is featherweight, escapist comedy for those wild about Wilde and wild about words. (Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 2/14/18.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.