Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Van Rockwell
This production of The Importance of Being Earnest is being played in Beverly Hills, circa 2005, in the age of early Facebook and MySpace.
John Worthing has invented a fictitious brother, “Ernest,” whose wicked ways afford John an excuse to leave his home in Temecula from time to time and journey to Beverly Hills where he stays with his close friend, Algernon Moncrieff.
Algeron has a cousin, Gwendolen Fairfax, with whom John is deeply in love. During his Beverly Hills stopovers, John, under the name Ernest, has won Gwendolen’s love, for she strongly desires to marry someone with a confidence-inspiring name, like Ernest.
But when he asks for Gwendolen’s hand from the formidable Mrs. Bracknell, John finds he must reveal he is an orphan who was left in a handbag at Los Angeles Union Station. Mrs. Bracknell insists that he produce at least one parent before she consents to the marriage.
Returning to Temecula where he lives with Cecily Cardew, who he tutors, and Miss ‘Nanna’ Prism, John finds that Algernon has also arrived under the identity of the nonexistent brother Ernest. Algernon falls madly in love with Cecily, who has long been enamored of the mysterious, fascinating brother Ernest.
With the arrival of Mrs. Bracknell and Gwendolen, chaos erupts. It is discovered that Miss Prism is the absent-minded nurse who twenty years ago misplaced the baby of Mrs. Bracknell’s brother in Victoria Station. Thus John, whose name is indeed Ernest, is Algernon’s older brother.
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