“An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde at Taproot Theatre

Karen Lund, this production’s director, reminds us that “righteousness and pride can be just as wrong as manipulation and deceit.” It’s certainly the lesson in “An Ideal Husband”, but, when Oscar Wilde moralizes, he makes sure witty lines, elegant settings and glorious costumes buttress that lesson. This production has them all.

Mark Lund’s set is quite simple, yet the mural backdrop with its graceful swirl of Renoir-like colors provides majesty to the whole stage. And Nanette Acosta’s velvety-satiny costumes typify the opulence of late 19th C. upper class life as well as being nicely chosen to represent the personalities of the characters who wear them.

The actors work well together as an ensemble. And there are a few delicious parts that give their performers a wonderful opportunity to strut their stuff. Lord Goring, like Wilde himself, is a witty and lovable dandy. He’s a modern man in an old fashioned world. Aaron Lamb as Goring moves with just the right assurance and nonchalance the part demands. Nolan Palmer makes an ideal Lord Caversham, harumping and sputtering at his displeasure with his son, the insufficiently serious Lord Goring.

One of the wonderful aspects of seeing an Oscar Wilde play is to hear again or be introduced to so many of his bon mots. They are sprinkled throughout the script. You might want to think about how apt they and the whole concept of the play is for modern audiences.

Through Oct. 22 at Taproot Theatre, 204 North 85th St, Seattle. (206 781-9707 or www.taproottheatre.org)

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