On Saturday night, Geoff (my hubby) and I had an opportunity to go to Trinity Repertory Company's production of The Importance of Being Earnest with our neighbors. We don't often see plays at Trinity because theater is really my thing and since I like musicals, we tend to go to Providence Performing Arts Center to see touring Broadway shows. Trinity is really more about drama. But since we and our neighbors were each able to get one free ticket, we decided we would each buy an additional ticket and have a grown up couples night out.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a play written by Oscar Wilde in 1895. It opened in London to critical acclaim due to it's sharp humor and social commentary. The story is essentially one of mistaken identity between two courting couples. Both of the young women are led to believe that they are engaged to the same man - Earnest Worthing. While in fact, Earnest is the fictional brother of one of the male suitors, John Worthing.
While I did enjoy the night out and the company of our friends, the show left a lot to be desired. With the exception of Janice Duclos, the actress who played Lady Bracknell, all of the other actors over played their roles to such an extent that they became caricatures. Their facial expressions, physical movements and the delivery of their lines were so exaggerated that they became absurd. In addition, while the play does have many funny and witty lines, not all of them should have been emphasized. It felt as though every line was a joke or a witticism. It really detracted from the story as a whole. I get it already. This is a comedy. Don't hit me over the head with it - again and again and again, ad nauseum. In addition, the play was much too long. It ran 2 1/2 hours and I found my mind drifting off on more than one occasion. That has NEVER happened to me in a show before. Even shows I haven't liked very much. Not a great sign.
Anyway, I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I'm still glad I went to see this show. As I already said, it was fun night out with friends. But, it was more than that. I'm really coming to understand, that when it comes to theater, it's a good thing to try new things - even if you don't love them.
As a matter of fact, after seeing Spring Awakening on Tuesday (and being happily surprised), I've decided to try to see even more theater next season. I was further inspired by Esther at Gratuitous Violins, an awesome theater news and reviews blog. Esther does theater the way I do books. And that got me thinking that I want to do more theater as well. This year was the first time I've ever had season tickets to any theater. And, as it so happens, I was lucky enough to see a few other shows as well. So after this weekend, I decided to renew both of my subscriptions and to see one show at Trinity and one ballet next season. I checked Trinity's upcoming season online and it looks fantastic! I'm not sure I can pick just one. Geoff's not in favor of another subscription, but we'll see. And the ballet hasn't even published it's upcoming season yet. What's a girl to do?
Image from Google Images