The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Oscar Wilde’s classic The Importance of Being Earnest will be filmed live on March 11 and 12 for cinema screenings worldwide in June. The comedy of manners, now running at the American Airlines Theatre, will air in movie theaters and performing arts centers across the U.S. and internationally on June 2, and on varying dates through June 30. A full list of participating cinemas, dates and ticket prices will be announced shortly.
Roundabout is producing the project in conjunction with L.A. Theatre Works and BY Experience, the firm that captures and distributes both the Metropolitan Opera in HD opera series and National Theatre Live. There will be no changes made to the filmed performances, nor will footage of the weekend’s three shows be edited together into one final product, said Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes in a statement. Rather, one of the filmed shows will be selected and aired in its entirety.
The Importance of Being Earnest is a classic 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.
Tony winner Brian Bedford directs the show and stars as Lady Bracknell, leading a cast that features 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).