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'Importance Of Being Earnest' Opens CT Rep Season

"The Importance of Being Earnest" opens the 2017-18 season at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and there are some important names involved.

Long upheld as one of the funniest comedies in the English language ever, Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" needs to be seen and reappreciated anew every few years. CT Rep's rendition stars Broadway veteran Liz McCartney ("Sunday in the Park With George," "Phantom of the Opera") as Lady Bracknell. Yes, a woman is playing Lady Bracknell. How times have changed.

Stephon Pettway plays Algernon, and students in the BFA Acting program at UConn take all the other parts: Nick Nudler as Jack, Tabatha Gayle as Gwendolen, Gillian Pardi as Cecily, Jacob Harris Wright as Canon Chasuble, Vivienne James as Miss Prism, Coleman Churchill as Lane the city butler and Anthony Giovino as Merriman the country butler.

The show's directed by Jean Randich. When Randich was a student at the Yale School of Drama in the early '90s, she did a striking production of Paula Vogel's "The Baltimore Waltz" at the Yale Summer Cabaret, and an immersive take on Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" starring Paul Giamatti for her YSD thesis project. Randich now teaches drama at Bennington College in Vermont.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST runs Oct. 5 to 14 at UConn's Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, 2132 Hillside Road, Storrs. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; plus a Saturday and Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 14 and 15. Tickets are $10 to $35. Details at 860-486-2113, crt.uconn.edu.

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