Greetings Classic Entusiasts-We will be attending a live production of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan" at Cal Shakes in Oridna.
Details: The price is $52. Once I receive the details from Cal Shakes and get a head count, you will need to prepay through PayPal and re-RSVP on the site. If you plan to attend, please sign up ASAP. Please be advised, refunds will only be offered if someone else is willing to take your place once we have purchased the tickets.
FYI: I will be posting information on Cal Shakes, parking, picnic, etc once we establish a head count.
Lady Windemere's Fan by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Christopher Liam Moore
Scandal is gossip made tedious by morality.” The glittering greatness of Oscar Wilde graces the Bruns stage for the first time since 2008’s An Ideal Husband with this satin-lined skewering of marriage, morals, and “polite” society. Noted director and actor Moore—who portrayed Jon in Ghost Light at Berkeley Rep and OSF—makes his Bay Area directorial debut with Wilde’s lesser-known, but thoroughly brilliant, comic melodrama.
Lady Windermere's Fan, A Play About a Good Woman is a four-act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James's Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage.
The story concerns Lady Windermere, who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to his wife's birthday ball. Angered by her husband's unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. She sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save Lady Windermere's marriage as Mrs Erlynne is Lady Windermere’s mother, who abandoned her family twenty years before the time the play is set. Mrs. Erlynne was originated by Marion Terry, and Lady Windermere by Winifred Emery. The best-known line of the play sums up the central theme:
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.—Lord Darlington
By the summer of 1891 Wilde had already written three plays, Vera; or, The Nihilists and The Duchess of Padua had found little success, and Salome had been censored. Unperturbed, he turned from tragedy to comedy and decided to write another play. He went to the Lake District in the north of England, staying with a friend and later meeting Robert Ross there. Numerous characters in the play appear to draw their names from the north of England: Lady Windermere from the lake and nearby town Windermere, the Duchess of Berwick from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lord Darlington from Darlington (though Wilde had used "Windermere" earlier in Lord Arthur Saville's Crime). Wilde, at the prodding of Sir George Alexander, the actor manager of St James's Theatre, began writing the play. By October the play was finished and he offered it to Alexander. Alexander liked the play, and offered him an advance of £1,000 for it. Wilde, impressed by his confidence, opted to take a percentage instead, from which he would earn £7,000 in the first year alone (worth £564,100 today).
Alexander was a meticulous manager and he and Wilde began exhaustive revisions and rehearsals of the play. Both were talented artists with strong ideas about their art. Wilde, for instance, emphasized attention to aesthetic minutiae rather than realism; he resisted Alexander's suggested broad stage movements, quipping that "Details are of no importance in life, but in art details are vital". These continued after the opening night, when at the suggestion of both friends and Alexander, Wilde made changes to reveal Mrs Erylnne's relationship with Lady Windermere gradually throughout the play, rather than reserving the secret for the final act. Despite these artistic differences, both were professional and their collaboration was a fruitful one.
There exists an extant manuscript of the play and it is held in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California in Los Angeles.
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his only novel: The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays and the circumstances of his imprisonment which was followed by his early death.