Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director)begins previews for the new Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford as "Lady Bracknell," at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd St.) on Friday, December 17th, 2010 and open officially on Thursday, January 13th, 2011. This is a limited engagement through Sunday, March 6th, 2011.
The cast will also feature Dana Ivey as "Miss Prism," Paxton Whitehead as "Reverend Chausible," Santino Fontana as "Algernon Moncrieff," David Furr as "Jack Worthing," Tim MacDonald as "Merriman," Paul O'Brien as "Lane," Charlotte Parry as "Cecily Cardew," and Sara Topham as "Gwendolyn."
The design team includes Desmond Heeley (Sets & Costumes), Duane Schuler (Lights) and Drew Levy (Sound).
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival presented an acclaimed production of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, in 2009.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette. Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities - not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen's mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell.
Wilde's classic production premiered in 1895 at the St. James Theatre in London offering a stinging critique of love, sex and social hypocrisy that remains relevant today.
Brian Bedford returns to Roundabout Theatre Company after memorable performances as "Orgon" in Tartuffe, "Sir Harcourt Courtly" in London Assurance and "Sganarelle" in The Molière Comedies. Dana Ivey returns to Roundabout after playing "Grace" in the 2003 production of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and the 2001 production of Major Barbara where she played "Lady Britomart Undershaft."
Theatrical design legend Desmond Heeley made his Broadway debut with the original production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz & Guildestern Are Dead. His designs won two Tony Awards, one of the few times in the history of the Tony's that a designer has received these coveted awards for the scenic and costume design of the same production. This production marks his first Broadway show in over 20 years.
Tickets are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212)719-1300, online at www.roundabouttheatre.org or at the American Airlines Box Office (227 West 42nd Street).
To become a Roundabout subscriber visit www.roundabouttheatre.org or call Roundabout Ticket Services (212)719-1300. Ticket prices range from $67.00-117.00.
The Importance of Being Earnest will play Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8:00PM with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00PM.
Brian Bedford (Director, Lady Bracknell). One of the most acclaimed actors of our time, Brian Bedford studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his classmates included Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney and Alan Bates. At age 21, he played Hamlet with the Liverpool Repertory Company, which led to highly successful performances in London's West End and at Stratford-upon-Avon, working with, among others, Sir John Gielgud and Peter Brook. Gielgud's productions of Peter Shaffer's first play, Five Finger Exercise, brought him to Broadway, where he has subsequently starred in over 20 productions, receiving six Tony nominations for Best Actor and winning the award for Moliére's The School for Wives. Other honours include the Obie, Outer Critics Circle Award, N.Y. Drama Desk Award and the L.A. Drama Critics Award. Mr. Bedford has directed and acted at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and, for over 25 seasons, at the Stratford Festival of Canada. His one-man Shakespeare show, The Lunatic, the Lover and the Poet, has taken him around the world. Film and television credits include Oliver Stone's Nixon, Grand Prix, the voice of the title character in Walt Disney's Robin Hood, Mr. Saint Nick, Frasier, More Tales of the City, Scarlett and Cheers. A resident of North America for the past 40 years, Brian Bedford was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.