Roundabout's IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST Released in Movie Theaters Today


Roundabout Theatre Company's (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) critically acclaimed Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, will be filmed live with multiple high definition cameras during public performances on March 11 and 12, 2011 at the American Airlines Theatre (227 West 42nd St.).

The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HD is being captured live in high-definition from the Broadway stage for limited screenings in movie theaters and performing arts centers across the U.S. and internationally today and on varying dates through June 30.

Roundabout Theatre Company, L.A. Theatre Works and BY Experience are thrilled to collaborate on this exciting theatrical project for movie audiences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to be able to experience the best of Broadway.

A full list of participating cinemas, exhibition dates and ticket prices will be announced soon. For more information on The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HD please go to
Todd Haimes, Roundabout Artistic Director: "All of us at Roundabout are delighted to be the first American not-for-profit theatre company to tackle a transmission to movie theaters. It is a great thrill to be able to bring Brian Bedford's amazing production to audiences around the world. We are happy to work with Susan Loewenberg of L.A. Theatre Works -- whose work I have always admired -- and Julie and Robert Borchard-Young of BY Experience who are experts in HD capture and distribution. I'm thankful to have Susan & BY Experience partnering with us, to ensure that the show is captured and shared with movie audiences in the highest quality possible."

Susan Loewenberg, L.A. Theatre Works: "I am in awe of Todd Haimes and Roundabout. In his time as Artistic Director, he has built the theater to be one of the premier non-profit theatre companies in the United States. If you look at our catalogue of recorded plays, our selection closely mirrors Roundabout's production history. And we recently recorded their hit productions of The Glass Menagerie and Speech & Debate. So I have to believe that the theatre gods are blessing this union and I'm thrilled to proceed with Earnest."

Julie Borchard-Young, BY Experience: "The Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of The Importance of Being Earnest is the right play, at the right time, with the right company behind it to be filmed for cinema screens. The great casting and critical raves make this Earnest production a "must-see"; yet theater lovers can't always travel to New York to catch an engagement. Cinema audiences who otherwise might miss out will really appreciate the opportunity to see Earnest captured live from the Broadway stage -- just as the show is performed to a live audience -- exhibited in their neighborhood movie theater."

The Importance of Being Earnest is a glorious comedy of mistaken identity, which ridicules codes of propriety and etiquette. Dashing men-about-town John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff pursue fair ladies Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. Matters are complicated by the imaginary characters invented by both men to cover their on-the-sly activities - not to mention the disapproval of Gwendolen's mother, the formidable Lady Bracknell.

Due to demand, the critically acclaimed Broadway engagement of The Importance of Being Earnest was recently extended 17-weeks through Sunday, July 3rd, 2011.

The Importance of Being Earnest cast also features Dana Ivey as "Miss Prism," Paxton Whitehead as "Rev. Canon Chasuble," Santino Fontana as "Algernon Moncrieff," David Furr as "John Worthing," Tim MacDonald as "Merriman," Paul O'Brien as "Lane," Charlotte Parry as "Cecily Cardew," and Sara Topham as "Gwendolen Fairfax." The design team includes Desmond Heeley (Sets & Costumes), Duane Schuler (Lights) and Drew Levy (Sound).

Elysa Gardner of USA Today says "Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of Wilde's most famous play is delightful! Bedford proves a perfect fit for Earnest's juiciest character". Charles Isherwood of the New York Times says: "The great actor Brian Bedford is brilliant in this funny and effervescent production. It's one of the great performances of the season; to miss it would most definitely look like carelessness." Scott Brown of NY Magazine says Earnest is "Funny as hell!" And Charles Spencer of the London Telegraph exclaims: "Brian Bedford's production is the finest ‘Importance' I have ever seen."

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival presented an acclaimed production of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by and starring Brian Bedford, in 2009.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Live in HD will be filmed and distributed to movie theaters and performing arts centers by New York-based BY Experience.

Executive Producers for cinema are Julie Borchard-Young and Robert Borchard-Young for BY Experience, Susan A. Loewenberg for L.A. Theatre Works, and Harold Wolpert for Roundabout Theatre Company.

Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia

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