By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH -- Dry British humor, snappy quips and the hijinks of leading a double life will be on full display at Vero Beach's community theater for the next few weeks.
The final show of the Vero Beach Theatre Guild's 2012-13 season is Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," a classic comedy set in 1895 Victorian England.
The opening night performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 9 with the show running through May 19 on select dates and times.
The story follows the lives of Algernon Moncrieff and John Worthing, played by Anthony Aruffo and Ryan Scarpa, as they each try to woo their lady loves, under the assumed name of "Ernest," and try not to get caught in their web of lies in the process.
The production is directed by George Carabin, with assistance from Carole Strauss.
This will be Mr. Carabin's 10th time directing a show at the theater guild. Mr. Carabin has spent the overwhelming majority of his 88 years involved in the theater world in some aspect or another, and said that each time he directs a production, it is "like a mother waiting for her child to be born."
"Bringing the popular comedy to the community theater stage can be very challenging, but the cast and crew have stepped up tremendously and the show will be wonderful," Mr. Carabin said. "It is a hilarious comedy, but sometimes a comedy is more difficult to do than a drama."
It is important for the cast to bring a sincere representation of the style and era of the play and represent the characters exactly as Mr. Wilde intended for the humor to shine through, he said.
"To be another person, to change your personality, your inflections, your attitude, that is very difficult," Mr. Carabin said.
Larry Strauss, who plays the Rev. Chasuble, is well-versed in playing different roles. His portrayal of Rev. Chasuble will be his 30th time on the guild stage.
"I enjoy the process. For me, it's fun," Mr. Strauss said.
Other cast members include Rick Shaw as Lane and Merriman, Candice Bourgault as Gwendolen Fairfax, Ashley Cardaman as Cecily Cardew, Leigh Ann Dunleavy as Miss Prism, and Martha Kelly as Lady Bracknell,
In addition to enjoying the interactions between the excellent cast, audience members are sure to be wowed by the three sets designed by guild volunteers.
"The set changes very quickly, from a London apartment to a garden to a country manor. I think we will be able to transport the audience back to 1895 Victorian England, from the dressing, the speech, the etiquette and the mannerisms," Mr. Strauss said.
Tickets are $20-$22 each. Wheelchair and companion seats, as well as youth tickets, must be purchased through the box office. Tickets for those 18 and younger are half-price.
The Vero Beach Theatre Guild is located at 2020 San Juan Ave., Vero Beach. For tickets or more information, call (772) 562-8300 or visit www.verobeachtheatreguild.com.