Playing the puritanical Chilterns, Angie Jepson and Shelly Bolman are less suggestive of the era: he’s a bit whiny and doesn’t move his arms; she, childlike and prim, is insufficiently severe. Both, however, infuse their characters, bruised from falling off the high horse, with humanity. As Robert’s flirtatious sister, Mabel, who knows herself the perfect match for the inwardly solid, outwardly trivial Goring, Kelly Galvin sparkles smugly, and her English accent is less wayward than some. John Davin stirs that English mix of obsequiousness and omnipotence into Goring’s butler; indeed, all the servants do their bit, conveying not just drinks and correspondence but differing attitudes toward the various swells.
Wilde on a budget presents its challenges, and resident designer Ken Loewit does a good job of providing opulent set detailing without much actual set. Nancy Stevenson’s costumes, particularly for Kahn, flesh out the appearance of wealth. And if An Ideal Husband creaks in a way that Earnest never will, it does supply us with an articulate philosopher dandy, a first-class schemer in décolletage, and the nugget, suitable to a self-help tome of today, that “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
, James Levine, Joe Wilson, Oscar Wilde, More