Ladies, gentlemen and perhaps a handful of secret Bunburyists all braved a torrential downpour Monday night to enjoy the preem of Wildean classic “The Importance of Being Earnest.”
Wet weather added to the veddy Englishness of the evening, which started off with salutations from producer Barnaby Thompson, who took a moment before the unspooling to thank Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein: “I can’t think of a better friend to British cinema — long may he continue.”
Civility continued at the after-party at the Hudson Hotel, where polite lines formed around the bars and buffet, and no one had to be kicked out of reserved seats.
“I love the process of taking something with only a narrow audience and bringing it wide,” said writer-helmer Oliver Parker, on tackling such a well-known play. “Wilde was a radical populist entertainer, and now he tends to be the preserve of an elite audience — which irritates the hell out of me.”
Co-star Colin Firth agreed: “It wouldn’t be humanly possible to make this play more accessible than we’ve made it.”
Joining in the jubilee were co-stars Frances O’Connor and Reese Witherspoon, along with guests Ryan Phillippe, Bob Balaban, Stanley Tucci, Mark Ruffalo, Joshua Jackson, Alexis Bledel, Rosario Dawson, Paul Rudd, Salman Rushdie, Tina Brown and Harry Evans.