Page 20 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • January 28, 2009 Wilde’s comedy of manners stars Lynn Redgrave by Dennis Seuling “The Importance of Being Earnest” is one of the most popular, enduring plays of the theater. Written in 1895 by Oscar Wilde, it has always been a crowd pleaser with its intricate comic plot, clever dialogue, and at least one unforgettable character. A revival is on view at Millburn’s Paper Mill Playhouse through Feb. 15. Jack Worthing (Wayne Wilcox), an upstanding resident of Hertfordshire, lives in a grand country manor with his ward, Cecily Cardew (Zoe Winters), the pretty, 18-year-old granddaughter of the late Thomas Cardew, who found and adopted Jack when he was a baby. For years, Jack has pretended to have a brother, Ernest, a fellow dedicated completely to the pursuit of pleasure. Pretending that he must rescue Ernest from his frequent scrapes allows Jack to get away from his responsibilities and head to the pleasures and society of London. Jack is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax (Annika Boras), the cousin of his best friend, the irresistible rascal Algernon Moncrieff (Jeffrey Carlson). When he discovers Jack’s double life, Algernon becomes intrigued with the idea of having an imaginary acquaintance to use as an excuse to leave London and have fun in the country. Gwendolen’s mother, Lady Bracknell (Lynn Redgrave), eager to marry off her daughter advantageously, finds herself in the middle of these plot machinations, offering her aristocratic, comic comments about every possible aspect of life, love, relationships, and the British class system. Directed by David Schweizer, the current production has been given some interesting touches, from Oscar Wilde in a box seat perusing his program as he sips a glass of wine, to servants who facilitate scene changes with choreographed crispness, to musical flourishes at key points in the proceedings. These are winks to the audience that the play is all about fun and not to be taken too seriously. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is a sort of puff pastry of English drama, with mistaken identity, characters drawn with broad strokes, and built-in asides to the audience. Director Schweizer has provided wonderful first and third acts, but has less success with a talky second act. The problem is largely that the focus of the second act, Cecily, is played by an actress who is not quite suited to the role. The absence from Act II of the play’s best character, Lady Bracknell, is sorely felt. Lady Bracknell is a woman who married into the aristocracy, yet goes through life as if born to it. She has an opinion on everything from the loss of parents to the proper requirements for a son-in-law. Redgrave assays Lady Bracknell brilliantly, never resorting to caricature. Her Lady Bracknell is a staunch believer in propriety at all (continued on Crossword page) Lynn Redgrave stars as Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ at the Paper Mill Playhouse. LEGENDS STEAKHOUSE Including Fish, Pastas, Steaks & Daily Specials State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Come Join Us For Our: Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 Superbowl Party FREE BUFFET 6-9 PM On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT Sunset Special $12.00 4:30-6PM, Mon-Thurs – includes soup or salad, choice of entrée w/ accompaniment, coffee or tea 12:00 - 2:30 PM includes soup, choice of entrée, coffee, tea or soda OPEN 7 DAYS for LUNCH, DINNER & COCKTAILS CATERING for all occasions, up to 70 Don’t Cook Tonight! Dine out at one of the fine restaurants advertised in The Villadom TIMES. BUSINESS LUNCH $12.00 118 GODWIN AVE, MIDLAND PARK 201-445-2881