It’s important to be Earnest in Wilde’s Victorian satire

MARYSVILLE – Oscar Wilde’s ”The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People” will be performed Feb. 28 to March 15 at the Red Curtain Arts Center, 9315 State Ave. #J. Directed by Annie Jankovic, the play is a satire of Victorian social hypocrisy. Jack Worthing (Lydia O’Day) is a fashionable young man who lives in the country with his ward, Cecily Cardew (Karli Reinbold). He has invented a rakish brother named Ernest whose supposed exploits give Jack an excuse to travel to London periodically to rescue him. Jack is in love with Gwendolen Fairfax (Anne Olsen), the cousin of his friend Algernon Moncrieff (Kennan Miller).

Gwendolen, who thinks Jack’s name is Ernest, returns his love, but her mother, Lady Bracknell (Jeannine Early), objects to their marriage because Jack is an orphan who was found in a handbag at Victoria Station. Jack discovers that Algernon has been impersonating Ernest in order to woo Cecily, who has always been in love with the imaginary rogue Ernest. Ultimately it is revealed that Jack is really Lady Bracknell’s nephew, that his real name is Ernest, and that Algernon is actually his brother. The play ends with both couples happily united.

The play is rated PG and is family friendly, although children under 12 might not appreciate the subtle humor and period language.

Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and are available online at; by phone 360-322-7402); or in-person Tuesday-Saturday from 2-6 p.m.

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