The lovers, however, are a little callow. Hannah Barth’s Gwendolen is all balsamic vinegar and Eliza Doolittle twang; Jessica Grant’s Cecily starts pouty and serious before blooming into her character’s pert preposterousness. The men have a harder time of it: Lewis D. Wheeler as Algernon declaims rather than breezes through his lines, and his nodding his head and rolling his tongue around his cheek become tics. And though Ed Hoopman as Jack has a more natural-sounding delivery, he’s wooden when listening. Jolly’s Canon Chasuble is as authoritative as his Lane but a touch hammy; playing Miss Prism, Beth Gotha’s pushing her face forward becomes another tic, and she might have offered Chasuble (and us) another smile or two. Yet she rises to her comic explanation of how Jack came to be found in a handbag, relating the mistaking of a three-volume novel for a baby (art or life?) as if it were the sort of thing that happens every day. Wilde would tell us it does.
, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, More