Arnaz plays "same-sex flirtation" Rev. Diane Canon Chasuble, D.D., a change from the play’s original male character; while Malick plays Mrs. Birnbaum-Bracknell, a Botox-ed and socially ambitious Upper East Side resident (a take on the Lady Bracknell character in the original play).
The presentation, which marks Coyote StageWorks’ signature annual benefit, takes place at the Annenberg Theater in Palm Springs. Roger Bart, Millicent Martin, Joseph Fuqua, Terri White, Melina Kalomas, Elaine Hayhurst and Blanca Araceli are also among the cast.
Here's how press notes describe the adaptation: "A modern twist on the famed 1895 comedy of manners about Victorians obsessed with social position and love. Re-set today in Manhattan and Long Island it becomes about contemporary New Yorkers obsessed with social position and, of course, love. The play’s original characters, British gentlemen Jack and Algernon, now live at Trump Tower and summer in the Hamptons, and the women in their lives Gwendolyn and Cecily take to commenting on social media via their iPads."
"When The Importance of Being Earnest debuted in 1895, it was not a period piece but a reflection of the audiences who came to see it," continue press notes. "Without changing much of Wilde’s brilliant language and only adjusting the locations, the dress, the accents and the Victorian references, the play is re-introduced as a contemporary reflection of our society giving theater goers the fun of seeing the play as its initial audiences did over a century ago."
Tickets to the production start at $75; to purchase call (760) 325-4490 or visit AnnenbergTheater.org.