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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage review

David Hyde Pierce stages a gangster ‘Earnest’

NEW YORK — Plenty of men have played Oscar Wilde’s fearsome Lady Bracknell. But it never crossed his mind, David Hyde Pierce said firmly, to cast a man in the role in his gangster production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

“That’s not true,” Hyde Pierce corrected himself a moment later, just as firmly. “At one point, I was thinking that it would be someone like James Gandolfini — but not playing a woman. In the sort of gangster way that people all have nicknames, they would just call him Lady Bracknell. But, in thinking that through, I thought — aside from the fact that James probably would have other things to do — that that took the concept one step too far.”

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