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Wilde wit balanced by drama of ‘Fan’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Marital trust can be redeemed when a partner misjudges the other, and perception isn’t always what it seems.

Those are the subjects explored in Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” presented this month at the Adobe Theater.

Though Wilde may have intended “Lady Windermere’s Fan” as a comedy of high manners, it’s also a moving and powerful drama, mixing Wilde’s wit and charm with “serious issues” about marriage and relationships, said Jona Kotter, who is directing.

If you go
WHAT: “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 12, through Sept. 4. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays
WHERE: Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth NW
HOW MUCH: $14 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For reservations call 898-9222 on weekdays

“This play is charming and very light in some places, but it’s also very modern and topical since the events could have been taken from today’s headlines about marriage, deception and what people will do for love,” she said.

The trouble starts when Lady Windermere finds out her husband may be cheating with another woman. She confronts her husband, who denies any wrongdoing, and asks his wife to invite the other woman, Mrs. Erlynne, to Lady Windermere’s birthday ball that evening.

Lady Windermere refuses, but her husband invites Mrs. Erlynne anyway. Lady Windermere decides to leave her husband for another man.

Mrs. Erlynne, who reveals in a monologue a shocking secret, finds out what happened and goes to the other man’s room to try to persuade Lady Windermere to go back to her husband. They hide when the other man arrives, followed by Lord Windermere, who is looking for his wife but instead finds just her folded fan on a table.

Lord Windermere demands to know where the man is hiding his wife, but Mrs. Erlynne comes out, saying she took the fan by mistake, sparing Mrs. Windermere.

What follows is a story of deception, shame, secrets and blackmail which in the end results in redemption, Kotter said.

“The dialogue has this beautiful sense of irony in that the characters are really the direct opposite of who they are and the way they behave,” Kotter said.

“I think what Wilde was saying in this play is that our actions are redeemable if we want them to be,” she added.

The cast includes Jason Kotter as Lord Windermere, Terra Vigil as Lady Windermere and Sarah Daum as Mrs. Erlynne.



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