Friday, November 11, 2011

Play "The Importance of Being Earnest"

The Cut Glass Theatre proudly presented Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest". Such an extraordinarily funny play based on the trivial importance of middle-class British society of proper nomenclature. The director Gef Somervell states "I only hope we have spoken [Oscar Wilde's] wonderul, intellectually exciting nonsense beautifully enough." Yes, delightfully trivial, down to every detail, but the importance of triviality rules in language, gesture, tone and pause. Well done!

The following comments are taken from the flyer handed out at the door:

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)

Though he is recognized as one of the greatest playwrights to come out of England, the Oxford-educated Wilde was, in fact, an Irishman. The colour and lilting rhythms of his homeland are strewn through the dialogue of his plays, and the magic of Celtic mythology surely influenced his little-known but beautiful fairy tales and poetry.

Surprisingly, the phrase "little-known" is aptly applied to Wilde. Though readers the world over are familiar with "The Importance of Being Earnest", and with Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, few are aware of the wider body of word that he produced.

By the age of 46, Wilde had written books of fairy tales (The Happy Prince and Other Tales, and House of Pomegranates), a collection of short stories (Lord Arthur Savile's Crimes and Other Stories), essays on topics ranging from aethetics to philosophy (Intentions, De Produndis, and The Soul of Man Under Socialism), several sparkling plays ("Lady Windermere's Fan", "A Woman of No Importance", and "An Ideal Husband"), a novel (The Picture of Dorian Gray), and numerous poems.

Wilde both challenged and fell victim to the harsh social proprieties of his day. He lived a life of unparalleled flair and panache, and gave the world some its most treasured literature. We are honored to speak his lines.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it."

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

"Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tradjic."

"It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it."

"Yes, I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotations."

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much."

"At twilight, nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets."

"The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

"To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity."

And a quote from Oscar Wilde that summarizes his opinions about the beauty of expression and the force of it (as he so cleverly demonstrated in his play) - "Mere expression is to an artist the supreme and only mode of life. It is by utterance that we live."

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