Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

April 26, 2013

Old Town Playhouse is Wilde about Oscar

“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

— Oscar Wilde

TRAVERSE CITY — The Old Town Playhouse has gone “wilde” with “An Ideal Husband, “ a full week before the classic Oscar Wilde comedy about late Victorian England opens on May 3.

The Playhouse is even offering a 2-for-1 special for ticket buyers under 30.

During the last two weeks, cast and crew have left about 4,000 “Wilde Cards” and 3,000 bookmarks around town — restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, the library and every other place they go — to call attention to the play and the Irish playwright’s penchant for writing epigrams, those short witty phrases that have endured the test of time.

Each Wilde Card contains one of 18 epigrams, for instance:

“I can resist everything except temptation.”

“I’m not young enough to know everything.”

“We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.”

“I love talking about nothing…It is the only thing I know anything about.”

“We want this to go viral,” said Tom Webb, retired marketing instructor in charge of play publicity. “Anyone who collects the whole set of 18 cards will win a ‘secret’ prize.”

Meanwhile, costumers Pinkie Hoffman, Nancy Albrecht and their crew of seamstresses have been knee-deep in yards of cloth, buttons, bows and ribbons since March 1, making 13 dresses for the six actresses and pulling together trousers, waistcoats and tuxedos for the six actors.

“It’s a huge job because we’re making all of the women’s dresses from scratch,” Hoffman said. “One pattern called for nine yards of fabric.”

The Playhouse will host opening weekend receptions at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Friday’s reception will be sponsored by Grandview Catering (Fire Fly), Saturdays by Om Café and Sunday’s by Stella and Light of Day Organic Teas.

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