Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The Importance of Being Earnest"

The Mills family invited us to this production in which some of them were performing. Thanks, Mills. We were not disappointed.
While I don't have any admiration for the man himself, Oscar Wilde (the man who wrote the play) was extremely clever. This particular play is a satire on Victorian society, mostly written tongue in cheek. Some examples:

JACK [who is not a clever person] I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can't go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.

ALGERNON [on right] We have.

JACK I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?

ALGERNON The fools? Oh! About the clever people, of course.

JACK What fools!

ALGERNON Do you really keep a diary? I'd give anything to look at it. May I?

CECILY Oh no! [Puts her hand over it.] You see, it is simply a very young girl's record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication. When it appears in volume form, I hope you will order a copy.


Those are just some examples of Wilde's style of poking fun at people. The main storyline of the play follows two men, Jack and Algernon (pictured in the first photo). Each man adopts the name of the same imaginary person, Mr. Earnest Worthington, in order to woo the woman he loves. This duplicity brings complications:

GWENDOLYN [speaking to Jack] We live, as I hope you know, Mr Worthing, in an age of ideals. The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest. There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence. The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

JACK [alias Ernest] But you don't really mean to say that you couldn't love me if my name wasn't Ernest? Gwendolyn, I must get christened at once - I mean we must get married at once. There is no time to be lost.

(Meanwhile, the other "Ernest" is running into the same problems.)

CECILY You must not laugh at me, but it had always been a girlish dream of mine to love someone whose name was Ernest. There is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence. I pity any poor married woman whose husband is not called Ernest.

ALGERNON But, do you mean to say you could not love me if I had some other name?

CECILY But what name?

ALGERNON Oh any name you like - Algernon - for instance...

CECILY But I don't like the name of Algernon.

ALGERNON Ahem! Cecily! Your rector here is, I suppose, thoroughly experienced in the practice of all the rites and ceremonials of the Church?

CECILY Oh yes. Dr. Chasuble is a most learned man. He has never written a single book, so you can imagine how much he knows.

ALGERNON I must see him at once on a most important christening - I mean on most important business.

Naturally, there is a showdown. Two woman, each with a diary recording that she is the one engaged to Mr. Ernest Worthington. He'd sure have to be worth a ton to deserve either one of them now.

And to find out how the imbroglio is untangled, you will have to read the play yourself. If any of you were motivated to read the play, let me know, okay. :)

We passed three Rita's on the way to the play, all with full parking lots and extraordinary lines. Dad was starting to consider opening a Rita's franchise, when we found out: Rita's gives away free ice on the first day of spring. So, of course, we stopped.

Sorry guys, we're sold out of everything except Marshmallow Peeps and Sugar-Free Pineapple.

A neighboring parking lot bears witness to the popularity of marshmallow-flavored ice.

We had to agree, though we didn't quite agree with their disposal method.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Rita's on occasion... but I'm not sure if I would've taken them up on free "marshmellow peep" ice.... Not a big fan of that flavor to begin with! ;) Oh well~ fun anyway!

Mrs. Groff