Pear Theatre’s 2019-2020 season opened last week with Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband,” a comedy of virtue and moral inflexibility scheduled to run through Sept. 15 in Mountain View.
“Anyone coming to see this show can expect an entertaining evening full of gorgeous period costumes and customs and the eloquence and wit for which Oscar Wilde is famous,” director Jenny Hollingworth said. “But underneath this glittering surface is a surprisingly serious – and timeless – plea for tolerance and understanding. The exciting challenge for me as director is to make sure that the message is heard even as audience members leave the theater laughing.”
Wilde’s classic explores political corruption, public persona versus private virtue and the inevitable disappointments that come with holding others to one’s own rigid ideals. Sir Robert Chiltern faces potential blackmail from Mrs. Cheveley, who holds a letter proving that years ago, Robert sold Cabinet secrets to gain funds to build his current fortune. Not only would a revelation ruin his political career, it would likely end his marriage to the morally inflexible Lady Chiltern – an enemy of Mrs. Cheveley’s since school days – who believes her husband should be an irreproachable model of virtue and decorum.
Hollingworth, originally from the U.K., moved to the Bay Area in 2004. Along with collaborating with the Pear Theatre, she has worked with Los Altos Stage Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Dragon Theatre Productions, City Lights Theatre Company and Tabard Theatre as director, producer, associate artistic director, writer, acting coach, dialect coach and house manager.
“Husband” features Daniel Zafer-Joyce as Robert Chiltern, Ellen Dunphy as Lady Chiltern, Kelsey Tresemer as Mrs. Cheveley, Aaron Weisberg as Lord Goring, Cindy Weisberg as Mabel Chiltern, Monica Cappucini as Lady Markby, Tom Farley as Lord Caversham and Kyle Smith as Phipps/Vicomte.
The design and crew team includes stage manager Chrissie Schwanhausser, lighting designer Meghan Souther, props designer Zoe Stanton-Stavitz and costume designer Patricia Tyler.
Performances are slated 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. The theater is located at 1110 La Avenida St.
Tickets are $15-$35.
For tickets and more information, call 254-1148 or visit thepear.org.