Victorian Secret

Oscar Wilde's "trial of the century" could well have taken place yesterday. It's got all the right ingredients, such as celebrities, art, sex, and our persistent appetite to see those perched comfortably at the height of fame pulled down into the muck.

Although Wilde lived and traveled openly with Lord Alfred Douglas, disgrace for the playwright eventually came at the hands of a conspicuously placed calling card. (How Victorian. Today, it would be called a leaked Internet sex tape.) Douglas' father, who was furious about his son's relationship with Wilde, sent the author of The Importance of Being Earnest a note accusing him of "posing as a somdomite [sic]," the misspelling all the more telling for its idiosyncratic outrage. This prompted Wilde to sue for libel, setting in motion a series of trials that effectively destroyed the author’s career and ended in a two-year prison stint.

iTheatre Collective presents Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, a play that portrays Wilde as a dramatic subject and includes a script by Moisés Kaufman culled from courtroom transcripts, newspapers, and correspondence.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Thu., May 15, 8 p.m. Starts: May 9. Continues through May 24, 2008
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Niamh Wallace