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An Ideal Husband
a British Farce
by Oscar Wilde

COMPANY : The Lyceum Project [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Academy Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 3972

SHOWING : March 24, 2011 - March 27, 2011



Come see The Lyceum Project's imaginative new staging of Oscar Wilde's witty and heartfelt classic "An Ideal Husband," a story of the intrigue that can arise in some of our most intimate relationships.

Executive Producer Sarah Craig
Executive Producer Robert Drake
Executive Producer Ariel K. Stewart
Director Sarah Craig
Assistant Director Ariel K. Stewart
Costumes Bettina
Sound & Light Designer Robert Drake
Stage Manager Sarah Keyes Chang
Props Master Merry Peterson
Carpenter Jim Walsh
Cast John Keenan
Lady Markby Betty Mitchell
Lord Goring John O'Keefe
Lady Chiltern Tafee Patterson
Mason & Others Merry Peterson
Cast Corinna Rezzelle
Sir Robert Chiltern Jonathan Strickland
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Wobbly English
by playgoer
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" is an epigram-filled comedy with heart being presented by new company The Lyceum Project at a couple of local venues. I caught it at Lionheart Theatre, where its bare-bones production makes good use of the space. A few Victorian set pieces suggest the time period, while elegant costumes by Bettina do more than suggest the late 1800's. Hairstyles vary, with only Tafee Patterson's short hairdo appearing entirely out of period. Period-appropriate costumes and set pieces contrast with undecorated walls and modern hairstyles, but the mixture doesn't jar. It's the play and the performances that are the focus.

Chairs lined up around the stage for the actors allow for very quick entrances and exits from the scenes. Having the actors all onstage doesn't matter much during most the show. It's very nice at the beginning, though, when they convincingly portray an animated party through their chatter and laughter.

Performances sparkle. Merry Peterson and Corinna Rezzelle get the show started in style with their synchronized fan movements and banter. The rest of the cast all get their licks in too in short order. Director Sarah Craig has done an excellent job of turning a somewhat talky play into a constantly entertaining, varied show. Perhaps there's too much variety of accent, though -- nearly every actor lets loose with a pronunciation here or there that doesn't sound authentically British. Even so, everyone has the slightly brittle intonation of upper-class British speech, so occasional pronunciation problems don't glare.

Tafee Patterson, as the virtuous Lady Chiltern, and John O'Keefe, as layabout Lord Goring, give the most riveting performances. No one, though, doesn't belong on the stage. It's a nicely balanced ensemble that helps lay out the story clearly. The main plot line concerns a well-to-do British politician known for his integrity, but whose secret of initial wealth contrasts with his current probity. It's amazing (and depressing) how many of the politics-related lines still ring true today.

Oscar Wilde plays are known for their epigrammatic lines, and there's no lack of them here. They're put across with panache and energy by the cast of ten (with three members doing dual duty as servants). This isn't a play for everyone, but it should be a joy for Wilde appreciators. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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