note: entire contents copyright 2007 by Beverly Creasey
Oh, what you missed! If you didn’t see the Longwood Players’ uniquely remarkable THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, you don’t know that there’s another fabulous scene to the play, one just about everyone removes. Not only did director Kaitlyn Chatry restore the hilarious text (where creditors try to cart Earnest off to jail), she invented some wonderful surprises which make this EARNEST the most delicious I’ve ever seen.
For one thing, this Gwendolen (Sarah Jones) is a miniature Lady Bracknell in the making. Jack (Andrew Winson) asks his friend Algy (Tom Giordano) if every woman eventually looks and acts just like her mother---and what resonance that crack has, as we watch Gwendolen “crush her doubts” with ferocious sweetness. Poor Jack has no idea what’s in store for him when his demure fiancée becomes her tigress of a mother (Ann Carpenter) and we’re certain she will.
Chatry gets resonance from oodles of lines and clever bits of business, thanks to her perfect cast. From Anna Waldron’s Cecily to Steve Turner’s Dr. Chasuble, from Gwen Sweet’s Miss Prism to Charles Hughes’ solicitor to the cheeky servants, this EARNEST still has me delighted…and convulsed.