A Wilde Evening In Sherburne
Published: May 2nd, 2008
By: Jeff Genung

A Wilde evening in Sherburne

It’s hard to believe it was only a little over a month ago that I was sitting in the Sherburne-Earlville auditorium watching their musical, “She Loves Me.” I raved in this space about the students’ bravura performances, the result of what I assumed to be months of preparation and rehearsals ... and last night, like five weeks later, I found myself in pretty much the same seat, watching pretty much the same kids, pull off another amazing show.

And not just any show ... an Oscar Wilde play. Oscar Wilde, as in the brilliant, Victorian-era playwright known for his dry sense of humor and deliciously complex dialogue ... and these S-E kids learned it seemingly overnight! For any high school drama club to attempt Oscar Wilde ... well let’s just say I’m more than a little ashamed my senior drama club effort at Oxford Academy was “Cinderella Wore Combat Boots.”

At S-E this weekend, it’s Wilde’s classic farce, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It’s the tale of two n’er-do-well aristocrats, Algernon Moncrief (Adrian Enscoe) and Jack Worthing (Joe Mettler), who avoid mundane social responsibilities by concocting imaging friends or relatives who require their frequent, and out of town, attention. When Algy discovers that Jack’s been posing as his fictitious miscreant brother Ernest, he assumes the identity himself in order to garner the affections of Jack’s young ward, Cecily Cardew (Stephanie Joyce). Meanwhile, Jack’s been using Ernest’s faux identity to woo socialite Gwendolyn Fairfax (Ellen Fagan), whose mother Lady Bracknell (Alison Bensley) greatly disapproves of the union. Hilarity ensues when both Cecily and Gwendolyn wind up engaged to different “Ernests.”

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