The Importance of Being Earnest | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Megan Delay and Maeghan Looney

Megan Delay and Maeghan Looney

Emma Meyer

The Importance of Being Earnest 

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 31 2016
Price: $42, $32 seniors, $27 students and children
Producers of Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners have a tendency to let character take a backseat to the playwright's superhuman back-and-forth. This three-hour, two-intermission staging by Dead Writers Theatre Collective is no exception, although Jack Dryden's unabashedly fabulous Algernon fares better than usual. An ambiguously gay duo (less ambiguous here, by design) "Bunbury" their way through the English countryside and get caught up in a mess of lies and high-society expectations. In a play that skewers indulgence, director Jim Schneider's ensemble occasionally heighten Wilde's comedy in all the wrong ways, but the delicate, cupcake-like design, fashioned after a Victorian toy theater, is a delight throughout. —Dan Jakes



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