She’s a Man, Baby

In Entertainment Weekly‘s “Must List” this week, it singles out a Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest:

A sparking new Oscar Wilde production offers a hilarious twist: The imperious Lady Bracknell is played by a man.

Brian Bedford in The Importance of Being Earnest on Broadway. Photo by David Hou.

I actually scrawled “Really? Really?” on this page when I read it. Because wow, EW really must not see much theater. Very rarely have I seen Lady Bracknell NOT played by a man. It’s not necessarily the default — there are still plenty of productions out there where she’s played by a woman — but it’s probably the most popular drag role that wasn’t necessarily written as one, and has been for decades. He may well be hilarious, and the drag choice may be a draw, but come on, it’s not like it’s  particularly innovative.

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