Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. This audio also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde’s sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Lady Windermere’s Fan:
The irreverent satire that launched Wilde’s succession of classical comedies. A Lord, his wife, her admirer, and an infamous blackmailer converge in this delicious comic feast of scandal. A divinely funny comedy of good girls, bad husbands, and the moral hypocrisy of British high society in the late 19th century. Stars Roger Rees, Eric Stoltz, Miriam Margolyes, Joanna Going, Gina Field, Judy Geeson, Arthur Hanket, Lisa Harrow, Dominic Keating, James Warwick, Tom Wheatley. Directed by Michael Hackett.
A Woman of No Importance:
Devilishly attractive Lord Illingworth is notorious for his skill as a seducer. But he is still invited to all the “best” houses while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. In this devastating comedy, Wilde uses his celebrated wit to expose English society’s narrow view of everything from sexual mores to Americans. Stars Rosalind Ayres, Jane Carr, Peter Dennis, Judy Geeson, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Cherie Lunghi, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis and Jim Norton.
An Ideal Husband
A tender love story, a glittering setting in London society, and a shower of witticisms are only a few of the reasons this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it explores the plight of a promising young politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us. Stars Jacqueline Bisset, Alfred Molina, Yeardley Smith, Rosalind Ayres, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes and Jim Norton. Directed by Michael Hackett.
The Importance of Being Earnest
This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, “that name which inspires absolute confidence". Wilde’s effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language. Stars James Marsters as Jack, Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell, Emily Bergl as Cecily, Neil Dickson as Lane/Merriman, Jill Gascoine as Miss Prism, Christopher Neame as Chasuble, Matthew Wolf as Algernon, and Sarah Zimmerman as Gwendolen. Also includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One of the great classics of contemporary Western literature. Dorian Gray, an effete young gentleman, is the subject of a striking portrait by the artist Basil Hallward. Gray’s narcissism is awakened, and he embraces a lifestyle of hedonism and casual cruelties. Increasingly consumed by his own vanity, he is forced to confront his true inner-self, in a manner that is as shocking as it is terrifying. Stars Steve Juergens, Jim Ortlieb, Colleen Crimmins, Roger Mueller, Thomas Carroll, Paulin Brailsford, Rush Pearson and Martin Duffy. Directed by Terry McCabe and Jeffrey Ortmann.
"Fans of Oscar Wilde will delight in this collection of four of the author’s best-loved plays and a theatrical adaptation of his only novel. These full-cast productions - Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest - feature energetic performances from a host of talented actors including Eric Stoltz, Martin Jarvis, Alfred Molina, and Jacqueline Bisset. Razor-sharp comedic timing from all the players will entertain listeners while the production of A Picture of Dorian Gray offers a darker pleasure and a cast that delivers a taut, suspenseful performance." (Publisher's Weekly)
"The smart direction and casting and well-executed musical scores are a boon to the production, which will keep audiences laughing and engaged through multiple listens." (Library Journal)
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