Oscar Wilde's Victorian comedy endures as a hilarious comedy of manners, its buoyant text brimming with comic hyperbole and epigrammatic couplets, delighting each new generation of audiences. The Chrysalis Stage places their modest sets and seating on the raised platform of the vast Whittier High School auditorium. Andrea Gwynnel Morgan directs and costumes her mostly young cast; she also stars as the pompous yet vulgar Lady Bracknell, performing well, despite an overemphasis on nasal vocal tics and guttural wheezing. Regrettably too old for the part of Jack (the idle young gentleman who invents a fictitious relative to shirk his social duties), Gregory Zide lets the team down with bizarre gestures, a distractingly fake moustache and an attempt at a London society accent that instead wildly rambles throughout the colonies from South Africa to Australia to Canada. Playing Jack's sneaky, foppish friend Algernon, the mouthpiece of Wilde, Harry Vaughn is fey and playful, while Alyson King is clever as the prim and shallow socialite Gwendolen. Jeena Yi's interpretation of precocious Cecily is pure perfection with every line reading, gesture and exemplary comic timing. Vic Lopez Auditorium, Whittier High School, 12417 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier; Fri., Feb. 11, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 13, 2 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 19, 2 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 20, 2 p.m., chrysalisstage.com. (562) 212-1991.
Fri., Jan. 28, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 30, 2 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 3, 8 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 5, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 6, 2 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 11, 8 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 13, 2 p.m.; Mon., Feb. 14, 7 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 18, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 19, 2 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 20, 2 p.m., 2011