Earnest Goes to Nepal

The final play in the 2007 Taproot Theatre season was Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and it was fantastic. And worth the nearly 14 years I've been waiting to see it. I remember reading part of the play in a drama class I took in high school, but never actually saw it performed. I couldn't even remember what it was about other than to say it was about two guys lying about their names for the sake of being with a woman, but I knew I thought it was hysterically funny.


Jack: I am in love with Gwendolen. I have come up to town expressly to propose to her.

Algernon: I thought you had come up for pleasure?... I call that business.

Jack: How utterly unromantic you are!

Algernon: I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the
fact.


The play is set in the 1890's in England and tells of two friends -- one from the city and one from the country -- who have each created an imaginary sickly friend that they must care for as an excuse to sneak away on weekends. The trouble begins to enter the picture when Jack actually takes on the persona of his fictitious brother "Earnest" whenever he's in London and finds the woman of his desire reluctant to marry someone named Jack. How positively boring a name that is, after all. She's in love with a man named Earnest, not Jack. But Jack's friend Algernon complicates matters when he pays Jack's sexy teenage ward a visit while pretending to be the fictitious Earnest. It's not so much a love triangle as it is a love intersection with two women convinced they are both about to marry a man named Earnest. But there is no Earnest. The scenario Wilde dreamed up is far more complicated than I described, but I'm trying to gloss over it so as to not spoil it if you haven't seen it.

And yes, I do realize I'm trying to avoid spoilers on a 112 year old play.

Jack: Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?

Gwendolen: I can. For I feel that you are sure to change.

You can read the script here, and apparently Reese Witherspoon and Judi Dench were in a 2002 film adaptation that you can probably rent from Netflix or Blockbuster. Probably not as good as the play, but better than nothing.

But, Doug, in the title you mentioned Nepal. Why? Thanks for the reminder; I'm glad you asked...

On the way to the play, Kristin and I stopped at the Annapurna Cafe on Broadway Avenue in Seattle for dinner. It's a Nepalese and Tibetan restaurant in the basement of some other shops and it was fantastic even if the Yeti beer, brewed in India, tasted a bit like Busch Light. I believe we had some Naan bread stuffed with yak-cheese, Kristin had a curried chicken dish and I had a mixed grill plate with chicken and lamb. It's a little no-frills place with a pretty robust menu of food from the Himalayan region of Asia and the staff is really friendly and the prices were pretty good. Sounds like they get a pretty good lunch crowd from the local colleges, and every table in the place was filled at dinner. If you're local and go, definitely get the Tensing Momo, the Tibetan-style chicken dumplings were awesome.

2 comments:

Criscipline said...

They sell Naan at Whole Foods now (pre-packaged, not fresh) and it's actually really good if you're craving it and can't afford to go out to eat.

That place sounds fantastic!

Doug Walsh said...

Yep, we've had the Naan bread a lot over the years. Usually get it at Trader Joes.

Thanks for reading.