Classic British comedy opens Friday at Chetco Playhouse
Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot   
April 08, 2014 10:56 pm

Lady Bracknell (Victoria Weller) informs Jack Worthing (Sergio Martinez) and her daughter, Gwendolyn Fairfax (Ellen Stadelman) that she does not approve of their engagement in a scene from “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
 

The Chetco Pelican Players announce the opening of Oscar Wilde’s classic British comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, at the Chetco Playhouse, 1240 Chetco Ave., Brookings.

Opening night includes free Victorian food and drink, prepared and served by hospitality hostess Claire Willard. 

Wilde’s script tells the story of Jack Worthing (Sergio Martinez) and Algernon Moncrieff (Matthew Perez), who are wealthy men of England in 1895. Jack lives a respectable life in the country, providing an upper class example to his young ward, Cecily Cardew (Daisy Carr).

Algernon lives in luxury in London and has invented an imaginary invalid friend named Bunbury, who he visits in the country whenever an unappealing social engagement presents itself. 

Jack has also invented a character of his own — a wayward younger brother called Ernest whom he uses as pretext for going up to London and simply enjoying himself, and for this reason, Algernon knows Jack by the name Ernest.

Jack wants to marry Algernon’s cousin Gwendolen Fairfax (Ellen Stadelman), but must first convince her stern mother, Lady Bracknell (Victoria Weller), of the respectability of his parentage. For Jack, having been abandoned as a baby at the Victoria train station, this proves to be a difficult task.

When Algernon visits Jack’s house in the country, he introduces himself to Cecily as Ernest, knowing that Cecily is already fascinated by wicked tales of the man called Ernest. With his sly charm and wit, he wins her over and they become engaged. 

Shortly after, however, Jack arrives home announcing the death of his alter ego, Ernest. This distressing turn sets off a series of farcical events.

The production is directed by Karen de Lucca, aided by assistant director Don Jones and also stars Sydney Clinton, Phillip Dolan, Bill Schlichting, Robert Scheppler and Joe Taormina. Costumes are by Bj Farris and Lon Goddard. Goddard also served as production consultant. Set design, building, sound and lights are by Mike Moran and Ralph Dickey, with stage crew Holly Carr, Andrew Simmons, Dylan Panter and Joe Taormina assisting.

Additional show dates are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 13, as well as Fridays and Saturdays, April 18, 19, 25 and 26, and Sunday, April 27. No show is scheduled for Easter Sunday, April 20.

 Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students and are available at Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies in Brookings, New Wave Video in Harbor and at the door.

For reservations and information, call 541-469-1857. For more information, visit http://www.chetcopelicanplayers.org.