You can’t go wrong with an Oscar Wilde quote! I liked how each of Wilde’s visitors revealed a new layer of his vulnerabilities and insecurities. Abraham does a good job managing all three of the sides we see in one man (in essence, an hour-long Citizen Kane). Martin’s direction is nuanced and deft, which is perfect for this play. He relies on strong acting and immaculate language to carry the play, and it’s effective! The final scene is the most ambitious, and an examination of the struggle between writer and character. How much of a character is wish fulfillment? How much is autobiography? It evokes Pygmalion and Galatea gone wrong. I also appreciated that Wilde’s queer identity is not just incorporated, but centered.
What I didn't like
Mostly nitpicky things. I kind of see what they were going for having Dorian smirk across the 4th wall, but it felt out of place amidst the rest of the classic-style play, even if he is a figment of imagination. I felt like there could have been a more charged chemistry between Censoplano and Abraham as well.
My overall impression
I really enjoyed this production! I’m not super familiar with Wilde’s work, but I love all of his quotations and felt compelled to kiss his grave when I visited Paris. June’s script is peppered with Wildeisms, guaranteeing a few good chuckles. The actors show us three aspects of Wilde. Abraham gives a standout performance in this well-directed piece that presents with the human side of a legend. The free absinthe at the start of the show didn’t hurt, either!