Sometimes we all want to be somebody else, but when we actually try to take on a new identify, it can often backfire.
Satirist Oscar Wilde took this premise and ran with it, in The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, as it was originally titled, and it's still as funny today as when he first debuted it in 1895 in London.
Gallery 7 Theatre has now taken on Wilde's Being Earnest, and the company revels in the witty comedy about love, marriage and one of the most bizarre cases of mistaken identity in theatrical history.
"This play contains all the best qualities of a classic comedy: romance, misunderstandings, and a surprise twist ending," said Ken Hildebrandt, the executive artistic director for the Gallery 7 Theatre and the play's director.
"Nothing is held sacred in this show. You'll delight in the witty dialogue, the wonderful costumes and the beautiful set. It's a perfect way to celebrate the advent of spring."
Wilde's most famous comedy is a masterfully written romp and a comic masterpiece, he says, featuring an absurd case of mistaken identity, and it explores matters of friendship, bonds, love, marriage, and social status of the time.
Audiences will revel in Wilde's exquisite, acrobatic dialogue that keeps the play moving energetically and quickly.
Algernon and Jack are middle-class socialites, bored with their existence, so they seek adventure by assuming different identities.
Their charades can only go so far, however, and things begin to unravel in comedic ways when they each decide to settle down and get married.
The women in their lives are quickly smitten, but things cool down considerably when their suitors' subterfuge is uncovered.
The young men clarify their engagements, but they also reveal that neither is named Earnest.
However, when their fiancées learn that their betrothed were about to be rechristened for their sakes, they forgive the deception. Confusions and partnerships are resolved.
It's a hilarious and biting satire of Victorian morals and manners that encourages us to earnestly pursue the finer things of life, says Hildebrandt.
Gallery 7 Theatre's production will feature a talented cast of both new and familiar performers. Playing the role of John Worthing is newcomer, Matt Veenbaas.
His love interest, Gwendolen Fairfax, will be played by Sarah Hu, who last appeared in Around the World in 80 Days. The indelible Algernon Moncrieff is played by Michael McIntyre, and the young, bright Cecily Cardew is played by Kirstie Hilverda.
The roles of Doctor Chasuble and Miss Prism will be played by John Dawson and Carol Heynen respectively, while Nathan Unger plays Merriman, Trevor Kozac plays Lane and Josh Friesen plays the Footman.
The fiery and unforgettable Lady Bracknell will be played by Ruth Kult, who last appeared in Gallery 7 Theatre's production of Peter Pan.
Hildebrandt's directing credits include Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Diary of Anne Frank and the award-winning Driving Miss Daisy.
He was last seen on-stage in last year's Tuesdays with Morrie, which transferred to Vancouver for a second run.
Hildebrandt's work is supported by a talented team of designers. Set design is by Brian Ball, costume design is by Dani DeJong, lighting design is by Bryan Cutler and sound design is by Rick Havinga. The stage manager is Charlene Crawford.
The Importance of Being Earnest runs March 9 & 10, 15 - 17, 22 - 24 at 7: 30 p.m. with additional discounted matinées on March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. The play is shown at the MEI Auditorium, 4081 Clearbrook Rd., Abbotsford. Tickets $18 with discounts for seniors, students and children. Matinée performances are $13. They can be purchased at the House of James, 2743 Emerson St., Abbotsford or call 604-852-3701. See more details on this and upcoming plays at www. gallery7theatre.com.