As previously announced, Tony Award winner Bedford will sneer as Lady Bracknell, the Victorian matriarch overseeing the marriage hopes of her daughter. The staging borrows some cast members and elements of Bedford's 2009 acclaimed revival produced by Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival, where Bedford is a beloved fixture.
On Broadway, expect Ivey (Butley, Driving Miss Daisy) as Miss Prism, Whitehead (Absurd Person Singular, My Fair Lady, Lettice and Lovage) as Reverend Chausible, Fontana (Billy Elliot) as Algernon Moncrieff, Furr (Accent on Youth, Cymbeline) as Jack Worthing, MacDonald as Merriman, O'Brien as Lane, Parry (Coram Boy) as Cecily Cardew and Topham as Gwendolyn.
This is a limited engagement through March 6, 2011.
The design team includes Desmond Heeley (sets & costumes), Duane Schuler (lights) and Drew Levy (sound). According to Roundabout notes, "The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette. Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities — not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen's mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell."
Wilde's play premiered in 1895 at the St. James Theatre in London "offering a stinging critique of love, sex and social hypocrisy that remains relevant today."
British-born international star Bedford (a Tony winner for The School for Wives, and a six-time nominee) returns to Roundabout Theatre Company after performances as Orgon in Tartuffe, Sir Harcourt Courtly in London Assurance and Sganarelle in The Molière Comedies.
Ivey returns to Roundabout after playing Grace in the 2003 production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and the 2001 production of Major Barbara, where she played Lady Britomart Undershaft.
Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines Box Office (227 West 42nd Street).