WESTERLY — Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," the next play on stage at The Granite Theatre, opens Friday for a nine show run.

Often called Wilde’s most enduring and endearing play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," is filled with witty Victorian cliché and features two young couples in pursuit of love. While two gentlemen create alter egos named Ernest to escape their tiresome lives, they try to win the hearts of two women who claim to only love men called Ernest. The two pairs of young lovers find themselves scrambling to untangle themselves from their own web of lies.

Written in 1895, "The Importance of Being Earnest" was an immediate hit in Victorian London, though some critics have claimed that it was years ahead of its time. Wilde rather archly called it "a trivial comedy for serious people," and it might just as well be called a "serious comedy for trivial people." What he achieves is to poke enormous fun at people for whom pretense is everything, while at the same time celebrating pretense and appearance as the ultimate focus of life.

The show is directed by David Conaway and produced by the Granite’s artistic director, Erin Sousa-Stanley. The cast includes Danny Landino, Elias Beck, Anna Maria Trusky, Libby Hall, Bryn Martin, Darla Allen, Tom Steenburg, Christopher Donohue and David McCombe.

The show runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 24, and Thursday, Sept. 22. Times for the performances are Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, excluding taxes and fees.

For reservations, directions or other information, call the box office at 401-596-2341 or visit www.granitetheatre.org.

The Granite Theatre continues to observe safety protocols against COVID. Additional safety measures may be put in place as needed or determined by the CDC without prior notice.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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