The Importance of Being Earnest | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Importance of Being Earnest

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The trick with Oscar Wilde is not to sound like you're just reciting clever lines, precisely because that's all you're doing; this requires maintaining breakneck speed without ever appearing hurried, an approach akin to certain modes of salesmanship and seduction. This skilled ensemble nimbly negotiates the epigrammatic machine-gun fire of Wilde's theatrical masterpiece--which prefigured not only screwball comedy but the whole idea of Cary Grant--just so. Things lose steam near the very end, but pointy Ryan McCabe does sharp mug work as dissembling Bunburyist Jack, Sarah Fineout is captivating as ward Cecily, and as bounder Algernon, a pitch-perfect Nate White resists the criminal temptation to not steal the show. --Brian Nemtusak a Through 3/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Rogue Theater Company, 5123 N. Clark, 773-561-5893, $12-$15.

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