The Importance Of Being Earnest

Review by Willard Manus

The CTG also recently mounted a handsome production of Oscar Wilde's THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. This one took place at the Ahmanson Theatre, a huge auditorium normally given over to musicals. But because most cast members were British-trained actors from Theatre Royal Bath, where the production premiered, Wilde's sparkling and witty dialogue could be heard clearly and distinctly. There's a lot to be said for voice training (and acoustic amplification).

Lynn Redgrave played Lady Bracknell in a restrained but effective way (she was scatty rather than fearsome). Redgrave was strongly aided by Robert Petkoff as Algernon and James Waterstown as Jack. Bianca Amato and Charlotte Parry were equally successful as the two slightly ditzy but charming ingenues caught up in the plot's romantic, hair-brained intrigues. Miriam Margolyes as Miss Prism, Terence Rigby as Rev. Canon Chasuble, and James A. Stephens as Land were equally impressive in supporting roles.

Thanks to Peter Hall's deft direction--and Kevin & Trish Rigdon's sumptuous sets--the CTG's revival of Wilde's classic comedy came off in lighthearted, sprightly fashion. (Call 213-628-2772 or visit