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An Ideal Husband
by Oscar Wilde
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The L.A. Theatre Works performs plays tailored for a radio format before live audiences. The works are treats for the ear: Each features first-rate performances, rich but not overdone sound effects, evocative background music, expert engineering and the immediacy of an audience's live responses. AN IDEAL HUSBAND, Oscar Wilde's 1895 comedy, shows how a good adaptation of a classic play can speak to the present age. Martin Jarvis and director Michael Hackett have slightly streamlined Wilde's play about a rising politician with a secret in his past whose efforts to prevent exposure call attention to the hypocrisy of holding our leaders to higher standards than we ourselves live by. The large cast handles the witty dialogue with delicacy: Jacqueline Bisset charmingly plays one of dramatic literature's most polite blackmailers. The insouciance of the performances emphasizes rather than detracts from the play's serious theme of social hypocrisy. G.H. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Shows how a good adaptation of a classic can speak to the present age.
Wilde's scintillating drawing-room comedy revolves around a blackmail scheme that forces a married couple to reexamine their moral standards. A supporting cast of young lovers, society matrons, and a formidable femme fatale exchange sparkling repartee, keeping the action of the play at a lively pace.
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