The Importance of Being Earnest (Dramatized)

  • by Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf
  • 1 hrs and 58 mins
  • Performance

Publisher's Summary

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence". Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.
Includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.
An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring:
James Marsters as Jack
Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell
Emily Bergl as Cecily
Neil Dickson as Lane and Merriman
Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism
Christopher Neame as Chasuble
Matthew Wolf as Algernon
Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen
Directed by Michael Hackett. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delightfully silly

LA Theatre Works is a unique and rich source of live performances. Their audio productions are recorded in front of a live audience, which provides two benefits, especially in a wonderfully silly play like this: you can laugh along with other (real) people, and the actors are unlikely to drop their voices to a whisper. It's not quite the same as seeing the play on stage, but it's closer than listening to a studio production. You trade a small measure of verisimilitude in the sound for a large measure of communal laughter.

There's not much to say about the play itself. It's a puff of air, a totally ridiculous situation where the farce is embodied in a rapid exchange of one-liners rather than in pratfalls. Wilde's brilliant language sparkles throughout.

I listened to the other recordings of this play available on Audible, and while one of them in particular features a more stellar cast, they lack the energizing effect of hearing the responses of other people to the same lines that made me chuckle. Yes, it sounds "stagey" at times, but that's why I liked it!

This recording also includes an interview with the director.
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- Tad Davis

A wonderful production of a great play!

I found it impossible not to laugh out loud while listening to this witty comedy of manners. I've seen the play many times, but have never seen a production more enjoyable than listening to this performance. Bravo!
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- Lisa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2009
  • Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works