The Importance of Being Earnest: Riverside Park 26 July 2014

Every summer NYC is filled with free theater in its parks and streets. And I’m not talking about just people watching, which is another kind of theater, but real theater and real actors performing. rtb and I saw Hudson Warehouse’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest on the steps near the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park. The location is beautiful but unfortunately the steps (even with the cushions provided) are not the most comfortable seats. But that was the only negative.

Oscar Wilde’s play about morality and class is very funny and Jonathan William Minton as Algernon Moncrieff made the most of it with his asides to the audience. George K. Wells was an excellent John Worthing and a joy to watch because of his Jude Law/Chris Thile type good looks. Linus Gelber was a convincing Lady Augusta Bracknell.

All the cast had believable British accents (GR Johnson – dialect coach) and the costumes by Emily Rose Parman were spot on. Director Nicholas Martin-Smith made very good use of the space and you could see yourself in an English country garden or even a London flat. David Palmer Brown as Rev. Canon Chasuble was especially funny coming through the bushes in the garden and onto the stage.

The rest of the cast was Bob Wasinger (Lane, Merriman), Amber Bogdewiecz (Gwendolen Fairfax), Patrina Caruana (Cecily Cardew), and Karen Eterovich (Miss Prism).

By Carene Lydia Lopez