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About the show:

First performed at London's St. James Theatre in 1895, The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde's most popular comedic masterpiece. It is replete with hilarious antics caused by mistaken identity and the upturning of social convention. It is truly a comedy of manners and its witty writing makes it a continued favorite in the theatre world. It was widely praised at its debut, both by audiences and critics, and the 2011 Broadway revival received similar acclaim, thanks in no small part to Brian Bedford's uproarious cross-dressing portrayal of the formidable Lady Bracknell, a role that has become one of the most iconic in all of Wilde's work. Don't wait any longer to see this timeless classic on stage. Check the Importance of Being Earnest schedule and get your tickets post haste!

Plot Synopsis:

In 1895 London, Algernon Moncrieff welcomes a visit from his best friend, Ernest Worthing. Ernest has come from his home in the country to propose to Algernon's beautiful cousin, Gwendolyn. But Algernon refuses to consent to the pairing until Ernest explains why his cigarette case holds an inscription to an "Uncle Jack." He is forced to admit that he lives a double life. In the country, he portrays a serious, dutiful man for the sake of his young ward, Cecily, going by the name of John (or Jack) and pretending that "Ernest" is his idle younger brother who lives in London; when in the city, however, he assumes the personality of Ernest, a carefree rake. This admission prompts Algernon to admit that he, too, is deceitful, pretending that he has an invalid friend named Bunbury in the country, whom he "visits" when he wishes to escape some social obligation.

Algernon is called upon by Gwendolyn and her intimidating mother, Lady Bracknell. While he distracts Lady Bracknell, Jack proposes and Gwendolyn accepts, seeming to be infatuated with him because of his purported name of Ernest. Later, Algernon visits Jack at his country house, pretending himself to be Ernest Worthing, and is enchanted by his ward, Cecily, who returns his feelings. When Jack tries to abandon his double life by announcing Ernest Worthing's death, his plan is humorously impeded by Algernon's rouse. When Gwendolyn arrives announcing her love for "Ernest," the deceptions of both men threaten their newfound happiness. Get your The Importance of Being Earnest tickets today to see this classic farcical comedy's resolution.

Run Time:

2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission


Appropriate for all ages (although the youngest viewers may not understand and appreciate its antiquated style and language)

Creative Team:

PlaywrightOscar Wilde

The Importance of Being Earnest News:

January 13, 2011Following previews since December 20, the revival of The Importance of Being Earnest officially opened on Broadway!

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