I almost always love it when the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company gives me a chance to see a play I’ve not seen before. The only play of Oscar Wilde’s I’d seen is the well-known The Importance of Being Earnest. I’ve read his writing and love it – the Irishness, the irony, the language.
An Ideal Husband is a real treat. A ton of cast members in the first act, it is a real period piece, set in an upper class English manor in the late 1800’s. It was also fun to see Kelly Mengelkoch, of the resident company, in a dramatic lead role as Lady Chiltern. Matt Johnson absolutely shone as Sir Robert Chiltern, the talented politician with a dark secret. Very smooth in the first act, he goes to pieces slowly over the next two – his distress is palpable.
A new actor to me, Kristopher Stoker as Viscount Goring is in many ways the fulcrum about which the play pivots – he knows all the secrets, and unravels the difficulties – including his own problems with his father, the Earl of Caversham, played by Jim Hopkins. Two love stories, lots of upperclass gossip, great acting, a serious and creative reversible set – what more could we ask?
The run has been extended, so you still have time to get there!