Wilde Thing

Oscar Wilde is certainly one of the most celebrated personalities in all of literature. He's credited with inspiring legions of glam rockers nearly 70 years after his death, and without him, our sweet, tortured Morrissey would have little to sing about. And that's a reductionist view, at best--it would take a thesis to explore the influence Wilde has had on everyone from James Joyce to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Marilyn Manson to Yves Saint Laurent. Wilde had a definite style, a hard-to-miss wit that permeated his lyrical plays and novels. An Ideal Husband is a prime example of Wilde at his best, weaving social commentary with satire and comedy. The play is something of a Three's Company-style farce, mixing heavy doses of comedic misunderstanding with blackmail, political corruption, ethical dilemmas and old-fashioned notions of marriage and duty. Essentially, it explores what happens when a politician is threatened with the exposure of a payoff that occurred early in a mostly honorable career. Both his career and marriage are at risk, and he struggles with reconciling the mistake with the overall view of himself as an upstanding politician and an honorable husband. The wickedly clever exploration of human imperfection will be staged at the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owens Art Center at SMU (6101 Bishop Blvd.) through Sunday. Shows are at 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, through Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $13. Call 214-768-2787 for more information.
Oct. 15-18, 8 p.m.; Oct. 18-19, 2 p.m., 2008
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Jennifer Elaine-Davis