Review: ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ brings Victorian era to life

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    The set stage for “The Importance of Being Earnest” as the audience waits for the play to start. Photo: Katie Cox

    The Palo Alto High School theater department delivered laughter to the new Performing Arts Center with the play, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The performers entertained the audience earlier this month with clever acting and realistic Victorian English accents.  

    “The Importance of Being Earnest” centers on two young men, Moncrieff and Worthing. Hoping to woo their love interests, Cecily and Gwendolyn, they both adopt the name Earnest. However, when they end up in the country together, their true identities are discovered.  

    The talented cast delivered the lines with the perfect amount of wit and charm to win the audience over. Both Jackson Kienitz (Moncrieff) and Jason Pollak (Worthing) portrayed their characters in a charming light to show the friendship between the two men perfectly.

    The audience was still able to relate and laugh as the characters desperately try to impress their love interests. Nadia Leinhos, alternating with Claire Eberhart, as Lady Bracknell was extraordinary as Moncrieff’s aunt; her character brought laughter to the audience with her exaggerated snobbery and patronizing attitude.

    Mia Trubelja (Gwendolyn) was nothing short of hilarious acting as a girl who had high expectations and didn’t seem to want to accept any man except for one with the name of Earnest. This humor created a light atmosphere and made the performance enjoyable.

    Not only did the brilliant cast help entertain the audience, but the cultured and sophisticated British accents the actors adopted helped transport the viewers to a different place and era. After multiple lessons on these accents, the cast should be proud of the final outcome as every single one of them sounded authentic and believable.

    The costumes, makeup and set were extremely well-done, but not over the top.  The set itself was also beautiful and classy. It was very intricately designed and it set the tone for the rest of the play.   

    The performance was fairly long, with three different acts and only two 10 minute breaks. However, the viewers were always engaged and laughing. The play had a bit of a slow start as it took some time for new characters to enter, but once they did, the play was quickly brought to life and entertaining. In addition to the play itself, as people took their seats and the lights dimmed, five talented musicians took to the stage and sang, danced and played the piano to set the mood before the actors revealed themselves.  

    “The Importance of Being Earnest” was the perfect comedy to commence the theater department’s year.  The stellar acting and realistic set and costumes made the play both enjoyable and relatable to viewers. This wonderful production augurs well for future PAC performances.

     

     

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