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An Ideal Husband On Stage at 2nd Space

IN THE May 4 ISSUE

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by Lorie Lewis Ham

An Ideal Husband opened at Good Company Players 2nd Space Theatre in Fresno on April 21. This play was written by Oscar Wilde, of whom I am a huge fan, so I’ve been waiting anxiously to see this show ever since I saw it listed on GCP’s 2nd Space season.

An Ideal Husband is a comedic stage play that revolves around blackmail and political corruption, which makes it a perfect choice to perform during a presidential election year. It also touches on the theme of honor. An Ideal Husband is set in London and takes place over the course of only 24 hours. The show begins at a party where we meet the key players–a young politician named Sir Robert Chiltern (Sterling Chase Stubblefield), his wife Lady Chiltern (Alyssa Gaynor), Sir Robert’s sister Mabel (Emily Kearns), their best friend Lord Goring (Alex Vaux), and Mrs. Cheveley (Casey Ballard), a former schoolmate of Lady Chiltern’s.

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Sir Robert Chiltern (Sterling Chase Stubblefield), his wife Lady Chiltern (Alyssa Gaynor) in GCP’s production of AN IDEAL HUSBAND

The messages of this play are that sooner or later one’s past mistakes will catch up with you, but also that one should not be judged by their past. At the party, Mrs. Cheveley attempts to blackmail Sir Robert for a mistake from his youth. As the show proceeds we watch how this all unfolds and how each character involved reacts to it. Robert is afraid to tell his wife, for fear she will no longer love him, and when Mrs. Cheveley uses something against Lady Chiltern, she too is afraid to tell him. Surprisingly, it is their flighty and frivolous friend Lord Goring who ends up being the stabilizing factor in the situation. This story has something for everyone–a story of honor, forgiveness, friendship, intrigue, and love, but also filled with many moments of fun, laughter, and mistaken identity. Together with The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband is often considered Wilde’s dramatic masterpiece. After Earnest, it is his most popularly produced play.

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Mrs. Cheveley (Casey Ballard)

This show is Sterling’s debut with GCP, and it was a wonderful one–I look forward to seeing more of this actor. I just recently saw Alyssa in The Glass Menagerie, where she played a hugely different character, and I must say I am very impressed with her versatility. I absolutely loved Alex’s performance as Lord Goring–he was not only very funny, but sweet as the loyal best friend. Casey, as the blackmailer Mrs. Cheveley, was sufficiently evil and manipulating.

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Left to right-Earl of Caversham (Noel Adams) & Lord Goring (Alex Vaux)

Jeff Dinmore was hilarious as Lord Goring’s butler, and a bit more subdued as Sir Robert’s butler. Noel Adams did an excellent job as Lord Goring’s father the Earl of Caversham. Emily as Mabel was a fresh breath of innocence amongst the drama, and well everyone involved did a splendid job.

If you enjoy good theatre, don’t miss An Ideal Husband on stage at 2nd Space through June 12. It’s a delightful and well acted comedy, with a nice dash of drama. More info can be found on the GCP website.

You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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