Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Importance of Being Earnest

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The cozy first floor of an old mansion makes a charming venue for Oscar Wilde's play--though there are times, particularly in the act set in a garden, when Christopher J. Berens's staging gets cramped. The amusing North Lakeside Players cast usually delivers Wilde's witticisms with great facility; Benjamin W. Beck's Algernon, Erin Shelton's Gwendolyn, and Denise Santomauro's Cecily are particularly entertaining, bringing great conviction to the oddest perspectives. However, the performers consistently play the physical comedy and their characters' reactions too broadly: on a stage just feet from the audience, they seem overdone. Through 3/26: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 1 PM, North Lakeside Cultural Center, 6219 N. Sheridan, 773-293-1358, $15.

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