Theater Info for the Washington DC region

McLean High School The Importance of Being Earnest

By • Apr 8th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

A violinist and cellist dressed in late 18th century attire enter on to the stage and begin to play, setting the mood for McLean High School’s intimate staging of The Importance of Being Earnest by the famous English playwright Oscar Wilde. The play has been made in to a movie three times and has been a classic revival on the London stage since its first production in 1895.

Jack Worthington (Johnny Day) is a respectable gentleman, owner of a country estate, the guardian of Cecily Cardew (Louise Mittelman), and has a duo identity, Ernest Worthington. Jack pretends that he is visiting his brother Ernest in London while in reality he is escaping responsibility and wooing Ms. Gwendolyn Fairfax (Katie Ukleja). His friend Algernon Moncrieff (Calvin Battle) who also has a duo identity, Bunbury, impersonates another identity, Jack’s fictional brother Ernest Worthington, in order to meet the beautiful Cecily.

The amazing characterization and high energy of the cast anchored McLean High School’s production. Each of the actor’s British accents was excellent and expertly enunciated. Although some actors occasionally stumbled over the delivery of the fast paced difficult lines, they were able to recover very quickly and easily.

Calvin Battle drew in the audience with each comical line he delivered. In Act III, when he is pretending to be Ernest, and proposing to Cecily Cardew (Louise Mittelman), his facial expressions and body language are precise and exact even when he repeats the proposal all over again as if in slow motion.

Michael Robinson‘s body movements when placing the tea and sweets on the table for Algernon’s arriving visitors make his minor role as Algernon’s butler, Lane, unforgettable.

The set was simple, yet elegant and matched the time period perfectly. Musical sound effects (done by Joe Burgess) added to the comic relief during the entire production. Make up done by Kate Marlette, Elaina Kaiser, Julia Katz, and Talia Roth added to the elegance of the costumes that were designed and altered by Sara Lavenhar and Julia Katz.

McLean High School’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest is definitely a must see for all audiences.

by JoAnn O’Brien of Stone Bridge.

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