The Importance of Being Earnest takes the cake, and drops it

Ernest - 1.jpeg
By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer

On April 6, the UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company premiered its latest production, The Important of Being Earnest, in the main auditorium, and the show ran through Saturday April 8.

The story is one of miscommunication, of deceit and plain old unfortunate coincidence. The show takes sophisticated silliness to a whole new level, or as sophomore economics major Kelvin Guo puts it: “Stupidly, cleverly funny.”

As far as the plot, TCo President Lyndon Davis, sophomore bioengineering major and describes it as, “Two guys pretend[ing] to be a different guy, but it’s the same different guy, and they get engaged to different people who think they’re engaged to the same person, and hilarity ensues.”

The Torch attended the opening night performance, to great delight. The show was cleverly written but wouldn’t have garnered a single chuckle from the audience were it not for the vibrant performances from the cast.

The show only had two sets, and was rife with complex language that the punch-lines depended on, so the cast’s careful and exciting delivery was crucial to the show’s success.

There were several standouts, namely Madison Bailey, senior biology and English double major, as Gwendolen Fairfax, one of the women engaged to the non-existent Earnest Worthing.

Her character exercised a liberal use of innuendo, and her execution made her a highlight of every scene she was present on stage for.

The true highlight of the evening, however, came at the hands of Kelvin Guo, who played both man servants Lane and Merriman, and in the second act was to bring out a plate of food, including a small tea cake, for the other characters to eat.

In carrying it out, however, the tea cake slipped off the tray and onto the floor of the stage, without catching the attention of the other performers who were elsewhere on stage in the middle of a scene.

The audience quickly burst into laughter as Kelvin picked the cake up off the ground with his hand, and put it back on the tray, leaving a large dollop of icing on the stage floor as he walked off without breaking character, to his credit.

The hilarity continued as the other cast members went a full minute or two without noticing the cake, and eventually made their way over to the table where it was sitting.

One character is even prompted to eat the cake, which he declines, much to the delight of the actor who didn’t have to

eat cake off the floor

Later on in the show, during a moment of silence on stage, Guo returns with a large wad of napkins to clean up the mess, that he obviously collected from the nearest bathroom offstage. He even improvised a line to applause from the audience as he walked off, saying “They don’t pay me enough!” earning a laugh from the crowd.

The cast demonstrated clearly their acting ability, smoothly handling an unfortunate accident on opening night, and delivering the rest of the show masterfully.

Although this production was put on by the UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company, the cast was largely made up of members who overlap with the other theater group on campus, 20 Cent Fiction, whose president, Spencer Uguccioni, plays Jack Worthing in the show.

Lyndon Davis commented on the overlap. “Most of the members are members of both 20 Cent and the Theatre Company. Different kinds of plays get put on by the different companies; it just gives a broader opportunity for people to act in anything they want to.”

Photo Courtesy: Sebastian Moronta Blanco
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