The Importance of Being Musical TheatreWorks Opens World Premiere of the New Musical Comedy 'EARNEST OR WHAT'S IN A NAME?' July 12

NEW MILFORD, CONN. (July 2, 2013) – On July 12, TheatreWorks New Milford will host the world premiere of the musical comedy EARNEST OR WHAT’S IN A NAME?, an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan. Book, Lyrics, and Music are by New Milford resident, Leonard Diamond. The show opens at 8 p.m. for a four-week run.

In 1895, the world-famous theatrical team of Gilbert and Sullivan fell apart. The partnership apparently over for good, composer Arthur Sullivan immediately began searching for a new librettist and quickly found Mr. Wilde, who had just completed an extraordinary new play that seemed the ideal piece to set to music: ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ If Gilbert and Sullivan hadn’t ultimately reconciled, this “what if” scenario of a Wilde-Sullivan collaboration provides audiences with a delightfully charming and frothy musical comedy.

 “If I’ve done my job well, it’ll be a very funny show,” Mr. Diamond said. “[Oscar] Wilde brilliantly satirized the English upper classes…it’s one of the great comedies in the English language. It was not difficult to keep Wilde’s words intact. I know Gilbert and particularly Sullivan’s musical style very well. As such, the music is very fluffy and light. And as far as TheatreWorks hosting the world premiere of the show, I can only say I’m delighted. I think it’s going to be a terrific production. The cast is magnificent, and I couldn’t be happier.”

“I’ve believed in Mr. Diamond’s piece for years and am so pleased it’s making its debut on the New Milford stage,” said producer Jane Farnol of Gaylordsville. “I’ve directed ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in the past and, dare I say, it’s my favorite Oscar Wilde play. So I have my own affinity for the piece. But now, with Leonard’s music and lyrics added on top of it, I’m simply over the moon about what EARNEST has now become as a musical. Audiences will be treated to a light-hearted tuneful romp, and they can tell their friends they’re the first ones ever to see it. And it truly is a ‘must-see.’”

The production features some of the region’s finest actors: Ian Maitland (New Fairfield), Carey Van Hollen (Danbury), Fred Rueck (Patterson, NY), Frank Arcaro (Roxbury), David Anctil (Thomaston), Glenn R. Couture (Ansonia), and John Bolster, Beth Bonnabeau, Jack Harding, Charles Roth, and Becca Myhill (all New Milford).

Besides Farnol, the production crew includes director Laura Gilbert, musical director David Anctil, set design by Richard Pettibone, lighting design by Pettibone and Scott Wyshynski, costume design by Susan Aziz, and stage management by Abby Hambidge with Bella Dumitrascu assisting.

EARNEST OR WHAT’S IN A NAME? was a finalist at the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) Awards. The piece from which the musical was born, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,’ opened at the St. James’s Theatre in London on February 14, 1895.

EARNEST OR WHAT’S IN A NAME? runs July 12,13  19,20  26,27,28  August 2,3. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on July 28. Tickets for all shows are $23 for reserved seating.

On Thursday, July 11, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks’ Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.

Reservations can be made online at WWW.THEATREWORKS.US or by calling the box office at (860) 350-6863.

TheatreWorks is an award-winning, regional theatre company located on 5 Brookside Avenue, just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford, Conn.


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