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Media Release: An Ideal Husband #2

FEATURE ARTICLE ON IDEAL HUSBAND AT PATIO PLAYHOUSE

(FROM THE DIRECTOR’S VIEWPOINT) 

“An Ideal Husband”, the next production at the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, presents an all out war of the sexes, disguised as a witty, satirical comedy.  Oscar Wilde’s brilliant exploration of past indiscretions and their political and romantic consequences opens Aptil 26 for a four weekend run @ the playhouse.

Written in 1894 in London, it was staged immediately prior to Wilde’s most successful play, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, in 1895.

Though the play has no clear climax, it relies on a series of complications and crises.

There are numerous climactic speeches and reversals at the end of each act.

The man responsible for orchestrating these crises is Jim Clevenger, the director.

Principally an actor with plays like “Plaza Suite” and “The Philadelphia Story” to his credit, he started directing at Patio in 1994 where he has directed “Fat Pig” and “The Miracle Worker” .

“I saw ‘An Ideal Husband’ at the Old Vic in London and I enjoyed it tremendously,” says Clevenger.  “ Its discussion of morality, politics, the power of money and how it corrupts everything was fascinating to me.”

Though the matrimonial relationships portrayed in the play are bogged down by Victorian morality, it still seemed a most relevant, contemporary piece for Clevenger to direct. “The play is very elegantly written, not overdone,” he says.

His favorite character in the play is Mrs. Cheveley, the villainess of the piece.

“She is a very intriguing character and a first-class manipulator,” states the director.

He also finds Lady Chiltern’s character to have the most interesting evolution.

“ She is perhaps the character who changes the most in the show,” he says.

Lord Goring seems to stand out as the lynchpin of the play. “ He is the nexus around whom all others revolve,” indicates Clevenger. “ It is a most challenging role.  He has the façade of a wealthy gentleman playboy, but he is far more mature in his vision than any of the other characters.”

“We have a wonderful, strong and talented cast,” he says with considerable pride.

As his assistant director, Connie Boyd, has the distinction of doing almost every job in the theater since 1976 when she first appeared on the Patio stage in”The Cat and The Canary”. Her favorite shows as a director are “You Can’t Take It With You” and “The Crucible”.

She so enjoys working with Clevenger.  “He is articulate and thoughtful, explaining things very well to the actors.” she says.

“ I love this show”, says Boyd. “ It may take place in 1895, but to me it is just like today, it is that relevant.”

“ An Ideal Husband” plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm,

from April 26th through May 19th at the Patio Playhouse at 201 E. Grand Ave., Suite 1D in Escondido (corner of Grand and Kalmia, between Vinz Wine Bar and Continental Deli).

Reservations may be made online by going to the website at www.patioplayhouse.com, or by calling 760-746-6669.