Arts » Theater + Dance

EclecticPond's 'Importance of Being Earnest'

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Though director Paige Scott's choice to set Wilde's manners-driven farce - presented by EclecticPond Theatre Company in a three-week run - in the 1990s seems a byproduct of budgeting rather than of artistic license, the play's low production value doesn't detract from charismatic performances given by Wilde's young lovers.

Lisa Anderson (Gwendolen Fairfax) and Jaddy Ciucci (Cecily Cardew) forge a deliciously underhanded bond as two women duped by two men pretending to be Earnest. Those men, played by Carey Shea and Patrick Mullen, create an equally humorous bond as they lie their way toward true love. And Julie Mauro's droll Lady Bracknell is detestably rigid with waggish nods to Dame Maggie Smith.

Unfortunately, lopsided casting of the lesser roles causes the show to lose momentum at times, and an overlong first act creates nearly disastrous pacing issues. Thankfully, the young talent is able to re-gain lost ground as they jest through Wilde's high-brow writing.

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