Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The prestigious CBS dramatic anthology The U.S. Steel Hour digressed from its usual format to present this lively musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners, The Importance of Being Earnest. The story, about two love struck young men who both pretend to bear the name of Earnest to please their respective sweethearts, remains substantially the same. However, the emphasis is shifted away from nominal leading man John Worthing (David Atkinson) and his aristocratic fiancée, Gwendolen Fairfax (Louise Troy), so that the characters of scampish Algernon Moncrieff and impressionable ingénue Cecily Cardew become the major roles. Edward Mulhare (who was at the time occasionally spelling Rex Harrison as star of the Broadway smash My Fair Lady) is seen as Algernon, with Dorothy Collins, an American vocalist best known for her work on Your Hit Parade, top-billed as Cecily. Also in the cast is Martyn Green, who in 1957 was the foremost interpreter of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, in the somewhat expanded role of Rev. Chasuble. The original songs, by Lee Pockriss and Ann Crosswell, include "Mr. Bunbury," "Perfection,," "My Eternal Devotion," "A Wicked Man," "Metaphorically Speaking," "Lost," and "My Very First Impression." "Who's Earnest?" was originally broadcast live from New York.