"In matters of utmost importance,
style, not sincerity, is the vital thing."

Director Jaki Demarest reimagines Wilde's wildest comedy in glamorous, decadent 1930s Hollywood.  Accents aren't required, but a sense of both elegance and privilege is, along with comic timing as sharp as the creases in the pants.

DC Arts Center
February 15, 16, 22, 23 at 7:30 PM

Greenbelt Arts Center
123 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD
February 29 and March 1
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Hollywood, 1935. Everyone looks to the movies, for style, for entertainment, for a glimpse of a world without bread lines, a world of wealth, escape, adventure, true love, song, dance, sound, and increasingly, color. And the American aristocracy entrenching itself in the bright lights, glitter and glamour of Tinseltown has its own strict and bizarre rules to follow, social mores to be upheld, indentured studio servitude, and of course, 'Bunburying' to be done when the pressure of towing the line simply gets to be too much.

Handsome leading man Algernon Moncrieff pretends to have a sick friend named Bunbury out in Santa Barbara, giving him an occasional excuse to escape the rat race of Hollywood. His friend Jack Worthing is leading an equally duplicitous life, pretending to have a dissolute brother named Ernest in Hollywood, whose glamorous shoes he occasionally steps into when his own life in Santa Barbara gets too dull.

"In matters of great importance, style, not substance, is the vital thing." Jack and Algy take it to heart, living large, courting fickle and unattainable actresses, trendsetting, jetsetting, leading double lives, partying, plotting, counterplotting, quibbling and, of course, eating cucumber sandwiches. They surround themselves with so many illusions and fabrications that even they manage to get lost in them, with ever-more hilarious results. Earnest is Oscar Wilde at his finest; dry, sparkling, engaging, charming, wooing the audience with impossibly sharp wit and the secret underlying sentiment of a not-so-closet romantic.

Will Jack win the hand and heart of gorgeous, stylish starlet Gwendolyn Fairfax, or will her eccentric uncle, powerhouse German Expressionist director August Bracknell, prevent the match? Will Algernon sweep innocent young heiress Cecily Cardew off her feet, or will Jack trip him up? Will Cecily's governess, Miss Prism, and their minister, the Reverend Dr. Chasuble, ever admit their clandestine passion for one another?

Will Algy and Jack ever truly understand the importance of being earnest?

A new look at an old favorite, Rude Mechanicals style.