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Peter Hall

A nearly ideal 'Ideal Husband'

A nearly ideal 'Ideal Husband'

Although just about everybody recognizes Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" as a supremely brilliant comedy, the embrace of his other plays is usually not quite so hearty. Those earlier works have been faulted for being a little too stuffily Victorian in subject matter and view of the sexes, too obvious or contrived of plot, too skimpy with wit.

Well, if Wilde's creativity had ceased with "An Ideal Husband," which premiered in 1895 just a few weeks before "Earnest," and if every production of that work were as incisive as the one currently being offered by Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company, the playwright's reputation would still...