Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” continues the Brave New Worlds Season at Theater at Monmouth. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 20, and run through Friday, Aug. 11 – including matinee and evening performances both weekdays and weekends.

Billed by Wilde himself as “A trivial comedy for serious people,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” is the hilarious story of Jack and Algernon, who have chosen to lead double lives to evade the tedium of polite society. However, when they attempt to win the love of two women who declare they will only love a man called Ernest – chaos reigns. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is a tale of mistaken identities, rapid-fire wit, and cucumber sandwiches. There may not be a funnier, more socially insightful play chock-full of eccentric characters than this masterpiece.

At the center of “The Importance of Being Earnest” there is simply humor and nothing else. Director Nathan Winkelstein leans into the simplicity of humor with this production and says “Anyone who searches for hidden depths or truths in this play is bound to either come up empty or become a victim of their own confirmation bias as they stalk the wild goose with the red herring in its beak.” Winkelstein goes on to applaud the playwright’s choice to focus on humor by saying “Unlike so many other plays, Oscar Wilde doesn’t try to make this play anything but funny. This is an artist screaming to the skies that laughter is an essential ingredient to a life well lived, and that bringing joy to one’s fellow man is worthy.”

“The Importance of Being Earnest” features A.J. Baldwin as Gwendolen, Christopher Blonski as Reverend Chasuble, Robbie Harrison as Merriman, Rebecca Ho as Cecily, Tracie Lane as Lady Bracknell, Zack Lopez Roa as Algernon, Christopher Joel Onken as Jack, Michael Wood as Lane, and Jaine Ye as Miss Prism. Directed by Nathan Winkelstein, Set Design by Germán Cárdenas Alaminos, Costume Design by Elizabeth Rocha, Lighting Design by Danie Taylor, and Sound Design by Scott O’Brien, with Stage Management by Mandy Spartz, Assistant Stage Management Cameron Sarchi, and Props Supervision by Madelaine Foster.

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