You can have great theater fun this month, free of charge, in the lovely outdoor setting of Brand Park, in Glendale. Presented by Dean Productions Theatre Company, Oscar Wilde’s favorite THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST will perform Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, at 7:30 pm, through April 28, 2018.
This production is set in 1920s London, in Shropshire, England, telling the hectic story of two best friends – Jack (played by Henry Carbeck) and Algernon (Kenyon Meleney). Jack lives in the country, protective of his young ward Cecily Cardew (Caitlin Stoodley), but he likes to get away often to the cosmopolitan city of London. To make his departures easier, he invented himself a “brother” named Ernest to whom he must attend often. In the city he also likes to visit the beautiful Gwendolen Fairfax (Mieko Beyer), who happens to be Algernon’s cousin. Things get complicated when Algernon decides to go to the country to woo Cecily, and even more after it becomes known that both women are attracted to men with the name of Ernest. This is the most popular of Wilde’s comedies, because it is truly funny, even as it makes commentary on class issues and the English society of the time.
At Brand Park, outdoors, across the outstanding Brand Library building, the experience of watching this play is absolutely enjoyable. You can bring a blanket (the grass may be wet today Thursday due to rain, but it won’t be a problem for the rest of the run) or a lawn chair, food and drink, a sweater, your family, and settle to laugh to the pleasing performance of this cast, which also includes Mannette Antill as Lady Bracknell, Kelly McCall as Miss Prism, and the hard working Pascal Gercourt as the narrator, as Lane, as Merriman, as a priest, and even as a table! Gercourt is a trooper, busy throughout the entire show, injecting just the right amount of humor into his delivery. He’s a pleasure to watch.
The play is directed by Rebecca Lynne. With this company she also does workshops for children affected by cancer and similar types of community outreach. For such purpose, there will be buckets moving about the audience at the end of the show, accepting any donations you may want to give.
Brand Park is located at 1601 W. Mountain Avenue in Glendale CA 91201. Look for the set-up across the driveway from the Brand Library building. There’s no admission price, but the company will appreciate your RSVP here. Additional information can be found at deanproductionstheatre.com.