The Importance of Being Earnest: full cast annouced

The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced the full cast for the new Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford as 'Lady Bracknell,' at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.

The cast will also feature Dana Ivey (Miss Prism), Paxton Whitehead (Reverend Chausible), Santino Fontana (Algernon Moncrieff), David Furr (Jack Worthing), Tim MacDonald (Merriman), Paul O'Brien as (Lane), Charlotte Parry as (Cecily Cardew) and Sara Topham as (Gwendolyn).

The design team includes Desmond Heeley (Sets & Costumes), Duane Schuler (Lights) and Drew Levy (Sound).

The Importance of Being Earnest will open at the American Airline Theatre on 13 Jan 2011, following previews from 17 Dec 2010 and will play a limited engagement through to 6 Mar 2011.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival produced a production of The Importance of Being Earnest in 2009 directed by and starring Brian Bedford, which received rave reviews. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times wrote that Bedford's performance as 'Lady Bracknell' is, "Impeccably stylish as it is thoroughly sincere. As such, it is very funny."

The Importance of Being Earnest: Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities - not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen’s mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell.

Brian Bedford returns to the Roundabout Theatre Company after memorable performances as 'Orgon' in 'Tartuffe,' 'Sir Harcourt Courtly' in 'London Assurance' and 'Sganarelle' in 'The Molière Comedies.' He received Tony nominations for all three performances.


Brian Bedford (Director, Lady Bracknell). Bedford studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his classmates included Peter O'Toole, Albert Finney and Alan Bates. At age 21, he played 'Hamlet' with the Liverpool Repertory Company, which led to highly successful performances in London's West End and at Stratford-upon-Avon, working with, among others, Sir John Gielgud and Peter Brook. Gielgud's productions of Peter Shaffer's first play, 'Five Finger Exercise,' brought him to Broadway, where he has subsequently starred in over 20 productions, receiving six Tony nominations for Best Actor and winning the award for Moliére's 'The School for Wives.'

Dana Ivey (Miss Prism). Broadway: 'Butley' (Tony Award nomination), 'The Rivals' (Tony Award nomination), 'Henry IV,' 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,' 'Major Barbara,' 'Heartbreak House' (Tony nomination), 'Last Night of Ballyhoo' (Tony Nomination), 'Sunday in the Park' (Tony Nomination), 'Present Laughter,' 'Pack of Lies,' 'Waiting in the Wings,' 'Marriage of Figaro,' 'Sex and Longing' and 'Indiscretions.'

Paxton Whitehead (Reverend Chausible) Broadway credits include: 'Absurd Person Singular,' 'My Fair Lady' (Helen Hayes Award), 'Run for Your Wife,' 'Noises Off,' 'Camelot' (Tony Award nomination), 'The Crucifer of Blood,' 'Candida,' 'Beyond the Fringe' and others. London: 'Heartbreak House.'

Santino Fontana (Algernon Moncrieff). Broadway credits include 'Brighton Beach Memoirs,' 'Billy Elliot' and 'Sunday in the Park With George.' Off-Broadway: 'The Fantasticks' (original revival cast) and 'Perfect Harmony.'

David Furr (Jack Worthing). Broadway credits include 'Accent on Youth,' 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,' 'Cymbeline,' 'King Lear' (w/ Christopher Plummer) and 'The Rivals,' Natn'l Tour: 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.' Off Broadway: 'Equivocation' (MTC), 'Golden Prospects,' and 'Tim and Scrooge.'

Tim MacDonald (Merriman). Broadway credits include 'Timon of Athens,' 'The Government Inspector' and 'Two Shakespearean Actors' (Lincoln Center Theater).

Paul O'Brien (Lane). Broadway credits 'Equus' 'King Lear,' 'The Crucible,' and 'Twelfth Night.'

Charlotte Parry (Cecily Cardew) was a member of the inaugural year of Sam Mendes' Bridge Project, performing 'The Cherry Orchard' and 'The Winters Tale' at BAM, in the West End and Internationally. Broadway credits 'Coram Boy' and 'The Real Thing.'

Sara Topham (Gwendolyn) is making her Broadway debut.