PHOTO CALL: The Importance of Being Earnest Opens on Broadway

By Matthew Blank
14 Jan 2011

The new Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest — Oscar Wilde's rarefied comedy of epigrams, mistaken identity, cucumber sandwiches and English breakfast tea — opened Jan. 13 at the American Airlines Theatre.



Directed by and starring Tony Award winner Brian Bedford, the 1895 comedy is produced by Roundabout Theatre Company. Like some famous male performers before him, Bedford plays the imperious British matron Lady Augusta Bracknell, who is one of several mouthpieces conveying Wilde's satiric ideas about romance, social standing and manners.

 

Broadway previews began Dec. 17, 2010.

Here is a look at the opening night:

View the Entire Photo Gallery
Brian Bedford
Photo by Krissie Fullerton



In Earnest, according to Roundabout, "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."

Joining Brian Bedford, Dana Ivey (Butley, Driving Miss Daisy) plays Cecily's tutor Miss Prism, Paxton Whitehead (Absurd Person Singular, My Fair Lady, Lettice and Lovage) plays Reverend Chasuble, Santino Fontana (Billy Elliot) plays Oxford lad Algernon Moncrieff, David Furr (Accent on Youth, Cymbeline) plays his pal Jack Worthing, Tim MacDonald plays manservant Merriman, Paul O'Brien plays butler Lane, Charlotte Parry (Coram Boy) plays Cecily Cardew, Sara Topham plays Gwendolyn and Amanda Leigh Cobb is a Servant (and understudy). The company also includes understudies Sean Arbuckle, Colin McPhillamy and Sandra Shipley.

This is a limited engagement through March 6.

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).