is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Impersonation Nation (May the Farce Be With You)

Jenny Fitzpatrick is wickedly
wonderful as Cecily.  Her dancing
takes the show to another level.  
If last night's opening of The Impersonation of Being Ernest is any indication, Kentucky Conservatory Theatre has a hit on its hands.  Not every seat was filled in the big black box at the Downtown Arts Center, but to listen to the response from the audience, you'd never know it.  Everyone was laughing, applauding the incredible stunts, and waiting for the next fight or dance to occur.  

In this ensemble piece, each cast member adds their own dimension to the plot development.  Henry Layton leads the way as Jack Worthing, who poses, talks like the Geico dude, and then flips, fences and fights his way through the various characters (played wickedly well by Jesse Hungerford, Ellie Clark, Sharonda Piersall, Evan Bergman, Wilson Shirley and Jenny Fitzpatrick) in this hilarious spoof on Oscar Wilde's most enduringly popular play that took London by storm in 1895.

Layton approached his colleagues at KCT about the idea of after students of in his conservatory class last summer brought in a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest. His instruction was for them to find a scene that showed conflict, any sort of conflict, and that he would choreograph a fight for it.  As Layton says, "the stakes never get higher than life or death."

For those who may not be familiar with the original work, have no fear.  You need not be a Wilde aficionado to get the joke, to become wrapped up in the storyline and to thoroughly enjoy this 83 minutes that seem more like a half hour.  My friend and I were pleased to see an enthusiastic crowd gathered in the lobby beforehand, but even more delightful was the buzz around the place after the show.  Smokers outside were all giggling about their favorite parts; theatre-goers inside were eagerly awaiting the cast's post-show arrival; and the movers and shakers who brought it all to fruition were grinning like the cat who just ate the canary, but put it on a sword and roasted it beforehand.  
Ellie Clark is breathtakingly beautiful as
Jack's Gwen: "Oh, Ernest!"

There are so many high points and silly lines in this play adapted by Director Spencer Christiansen, I cannot begin to choose one scene or delivery to highlight here. I can tell you, however, that if I had my 'druthers...I'd go see every show from here to Sunday.  It's just that good.  The fight/dance action is like none I've ever seen on a live stage, every step is choreographed for maximum impact, the dialog is deliriously funny, and the actors pull off some seemingly impossible stunts to create an athletic and campy comedy that will tickle your funny bone.  

Just take my advice and go see it this week before it's gone. From the costuming to the videos, everything element comes together for a great night of entertainment -- it's magic!

See you at the show,



..........aka MUFFINS ROYALE
.............aka GWINNYFINGER

Kentucky Conservatory Theatre is taking The Importance of Being Earnest; A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by Oscar Wilde, first produced in 1895, and turning it RIGHT SIDE UP for a contemporary audience of 2011. Intended as a recruitment tool for Kentucky Conservatory Theatre’s summer intensive, the play showcases teaching artists, alumni and students of the Conservatory. 

Adapted by Spencer Christensen The IMPERSONATION of BEING ERNEST is a hilariously funny, highly physical, ultra-modern spoof on contemporary pop culture, 007 and the trivial aspects of living in today’s modern society. 

Visit our Facebook page - Who is Jack Worthing - or follow us on twitter @GLAMFairfax.

Wednesday June 1st through Saturday June 4th @ 7:30
& Sunday June 5th @ 2:00

The Downtown Arts Center
141 East Main Street, Lexington

(859) 225-0370
$15 Adults & $10 Students & Seniors
Discounts apply for groups of 15 or more

On Stage:
Jack Worthing– Henry Layton
Algy Moncrieff– Jesse Hungerford
Lane – Wilson Shirley
Lt. Fairfax – Nick Vannoy (in drag)
Gwen Fairfax – Ellie Clark
Cecily Cardew – Jenny Fitzpatrick
Dr. Chausable – Evan Bergman
Ms. Prism – Sharonda Lynn Piersall
Dancers – Paige Mason, McKenzie Claypoole

Behind the Scenes:
Producer - Trish Clark
Director - Spencer Christensen
Fight Director - Henry Layton
Choreographer - Jenny Fitzpatrick
Rehearsal Consultant - Sully White
Videographer - Natalie Baxter
Costume Design - Wes Nelson
Lighting Design - Todd Pickett
Stage Manager - Lisa Blevins
Asst. Stage Manager - Emma Ireland

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