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GLT Datebook: Where the Wilde Things Are

Heartland Theater
That's Kathleen Kirk on the right having a blast playing Lady Bracknell.

"The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last." Well, the suspense is over! Because Oscar Wilde's classic comedy "The Importance if Being Earnest" has arrived at Heartland Theater in Normal.

  • Heartland Theater Company brings the beloved play to life now through Sept. 23.
  • Don LaCasse is the director, and popular local performer Kathleen Kirk is playing the overbearing, yet quite funny, Lady Bracknell.
  • Oscar Wilde's classic Victorian comedy proved popular, but his trial for indecency forced the theater managers to pull the show after 86 performances.
  • According to LaCasse, this play is perfect for the Heartland Theater space because it's so intimate. He calls "Earnest" a language play that is rich in witticisms.  
  • There is a second part to the title of the play: "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People."
  • LaCasse says Wilde was having fun with the Victorian mores of the day—and audiences loved it, laughing along with the satire of their manners.
  • Although the play was dark for a while after Wilde's scandal and eventual self-imposed exile, it was soon revived and has gone on to become one of the most popular plays in the English language.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.