The excesses and absurdities of the English upper-class receive a thorough skewering in Oscar Wilde’s 1893 play “A Woman of No Importance,” which opens Friday in the Irish Classical Theatre Company’s Andrews Theatre (625 Main St.).
The play, directed by the Irish Classical’s artist-in-residence Josephine Hogan, is about three-quarters frivolous comedy and one-quarter serious drama – a formula well-suited to Wilde’s mercilessly witty and occasionally melodramatic style. This production stars Vincent O’Neill as Lord Illingworth, the head of the discombobulated English household in which the play is set, as well as Eliza Vann as the boorish American Miss Hester Worsley and Eileen Dugan as Mrs. Rachel Arbuthnot. The large cast also includes familiar ICTC faces such as Kathleen Betsko Yale, Gerry Maher, Chris Kelly, Kelli Bocock-Natale, Joe Natale and Jenn Stafford.
This will be the company’s first production of the play, though it has produced Wilde’s “Lady Windemere’s Fan” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It was last seen in this region in a 2000 production at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Tickets are $35 to $39, with more information at 853-4282 or www.irishclassical.com.
– Colin Dabkowski