Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband is the crowning pleasure of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2009-10 season. Everything works.
The direction by company veteran Jeremy Dubin is tight, focused and, except for some slippage into cheap farce in the third act, spot on. Design elements (tasteful drawings rooms by Melissa Bennett; late Victorian costumes by Heidi Jo Schiemer) are more sumptuous and elegant than any CSC has ever presented. Performances from all — particularly Kristopher Stoker, Sara Clark, Matthew Lewis Johnson, Kelly Mengelkoch, Corrine Mohlenhoff and Sherman Fracher — maintain the lilt, audacity and inner laughter of high comedy. Added to that, the production represents a rare opportunity to see something both old and new.
An Ideal Husband is actually about something worth discussing. What, it ponders, makes for an ideal marriage partner? Is he or she some bepedastaled paragon of relentless virtue? Or is the ideal spouse more human, more touchable, more capable of forgivable error?
Through May 16. Read Tom McElfresh's review and find showtimes, tickets and nearby bar and restaurants here.