Ernest In Love
Music By: Lee Pockriss
Lyrics and Book By: Anne Croswell
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, Ernest in Love is a musical that opened off-Broadway in 1960. An expanded version of the hour long musical, Who’s Earnest?, televised in the United States in 1957, the show ran for 103 performances. On August 9, 2011, Masterworks Broadway released the Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording of Ernest in Love in digital format.
Ernest in Love follows the adventures of a man named Jack Worthington (John Irving) who is known among the upper class in London as Ernest. Ernest is in love with the equally upper class woman Gwendolen Fairfax (Leila Martin) and wants to ask for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, her mother, Lady Bracknell (Sara Seeger) opposes the marriage, having discovered that Ernest is not from a well-bred family, but an orphan who was found in a handbag when he was a baby. Can Ernest, with the help of his equally deceptive friend Algernon Moncrieff (Louis Edmonds) find a way to convince Lady Bracknell to allow him to marry her daughter, or will a sudden and shocking revelation ruin everything?
Ernest in Love is an incredibly funny musical. The songs are hysterical and rather true to life. From the very first lyrical track, Come Raise Your Cup, I found myself nodding in agreement with the London valets and tradesmen who point out the fact that the upper class Londoners were always in arrears. I cracked up at the search for just the right piece of clothing to accept a marriage proposal discussed in The Hat. The track called Mr. Bunbury is a comical number explaining the necessity for assumed names and scandal to create a bit of excitement in the lives of Jack and Algernon. My particularly favorite track is The Muffin Song in which Jack and Algernon discuss Jack’s need for comfort foods in times of stress.
Ernest in Love is forty-plus minutes of catchy, fun lyrics and an equally funny storyline. Fans of musicals will thoroughly enjoy the comedic aspects of the story, the music by Lee Pockriss and the lyrics by Anne Croswell. At just under $10.00US, the album is well-worth the money for all the laughter it elicits. Listening to this witty and fun Off-Broadway musical simply made my day!