1h 50m | Opens May 28

The Importance of Being Earnest (Two Ways)

From 3 critic and 8 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Delightful, Clever, Great writing

About the show

New York Classical Theatre revisits its gender-flipping production of Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece, where the entire cast swaps roles at every other performance, this summer in an outdoor staging in 3 NYC parks. More…

Considered one of the great comedies in the English language, Wilde's 1895 classic is a satire of social manners and obligations in Victorian England. In NY Classical's production, the entire cast will swap roles (and genders) every other performance to explore the power dynamics in the script.

The production, which is the centerpiece of NY Classical’s 20th Anniversary season, will play in Central Park from May 28-June 16, Brooklyn Bridge Park from June 18-23, and Carl Schurz Park from June 25-30.

1h 50m | Opens May 28


"Each incarnation is a frothy delight faithfully affirming Wilde’s insightful wit and supreme dramatic construction through theatrical magnificence...Employing hearty English accents, the actors verbally caress Wilde’s ingenious epigrammatic dialogue to optimum effect through the guidance of voice and speech coach Joan Melton. Like a true visionary, Burdman has melded all of these singular elements into tremendously satisfying presentations that breezily play out." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The comedy rolls along at a sleek pace, with one clever witticism following hard on the heels of another. Of course, it helps to have a good cast, and the NY Classical cast, under the direction of Stephen Burdman, plays Wilde’s masterful comedy with smooth decorum." Full Review


"While this would seem like an opportunity to further explore the sexual politics of the piece or perhaps even examine it in a different period or setting, the result feels rather tame...Luckily, Wilde's delightfully satiric work does hold up and remains funny, but it sometimes feels like it does this in spite of the gender flipping...That said, Kristen Calgaro and Connie Castanzo shine as Jack/Gwendolen and Algernon/Cecily and deliver Wilde's quippy lines well." Full Review

Free, Funny, Intelligent, Delightful

See it if 8 actors bring clear clever fun to a late Victorian picnic setting. Gender reversed casting proves clothes do not make the man. Or the woman

Don't see it if You don't like Oscar Wilde. But it is so delightful it might convince you.

Also This is a laugh out loud fast moving production, and everyone in it is... Read more Read less

Funny, Quirky, Great acting, Delightful, Clever

See it if you love Wilde, like seeing old shows through a new lens, like good acting.

Don't see it if you hate the original.

Delightful, Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Funny

See it if You want to see a wonderfully done straight production of this classic comedy and a hilarious gender-flipping version of it.

Don't see it if You're not open to finding something first staged in 1895 highly amusing.

Also Several outstanding performances. Connie Castanzo was spectacular both... Read more Read less

Great acting, Hilarious

See it if so funny

Don't see it if n/a

Funny, Energetic, Simple staging, Great writing, Clever

See it if you've never seen it! Great fun in both versions. Wlide's clever writing comes through. All of the actors work hard to make a fine ensemble.

Don't see it if you are expecting something novel. Even with the flipped casting the staging and performances are traditional.

Free admission, Great escape, Strong acting, Clever, Delightful

See it if you want to laugh. Wilde penned one of the greatest comedies ever...every sentence sparkles. NYCT gives this gem a proper, unfussy setting.

Don't see it if you only like modern experimental theater...altho try the reverse-gender casting wh upends convention. Some top-notch performances.

Also I am a fan of the NY Classical Theatre's outdoor, roving prodns...and ... Read more Read less

Must see, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if If you're interested in seeing a classic Oscar Wilde masterpiece both traditional and flipped on its head with a modern twist.

Don't see it if Don't see it if you hate joy

Refreshing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if Love it

Don't see it if None

Cast & Creatives (3)