ErnestApplause! Musicals in Concert
Ernest in Love Book & Lyrics by Anne Croswell. Music by Lee Pockriss

Dates and Venue 2 - 4 May 7pm | Pyatt Hall , 843 Seymour St.

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Accompanied by only a piano by Music Director Caitlin Hayes, this faithful adaptation of Wilde's comic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Ernest, which was first presented in 1960 in New York, was well-received by a capacity crowd on opening night. The actors/singers gave their all in this readers' theatre presentation, but I was most impressed, as was the audience, by Eva Tavares who played the role of Cecily Cardew. Her soprano voice was fabulous, and this award-winning singer who is studying to be an Opera Major at UBC will surely go places in her career in both opera and musicals.

Sue Sparlin (Lady Brackwell) is next in line in my list as best performer for her role which fits to the T of the society matron Wilde liked to satirize. Caitlin Clugston (Gwendolen Fairfax) and the title role of Ernest played by Michael Wild also enthused the audience, while Chris Lam (Algernon Moncrieff) was entertaining, especially with his facial expressions. The commedia love pair of Janet Glassford (Miss Prism) and Peter Stainton (Dr. Rev. Chasuble) were likewise entertaining, although I found Stainton's acting a bit exaggerated.

The servants Henry Beasley and Robyn Leigh Johnston serving also as narrators and other characters in this musical were true to the "gracioso" characters they portrayed. Kudos to another success by Scott Ashton Swan, founder and Artistic Director of Applause. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have the musicals that have charmed Vancouver audiences these past 15 years. He has been responsible in developing Musical Theatre here, especially with his Ovation Awards yearly event that recognizes the best in musical productions in both professional and community theatres in Vancouver.

© 2013 Ed Farolan