Show History



Ernest In Love , with a book and lyrics by Anne Croswell and music by Lee Pockriss, is a musicalized version of the classic Oscar Wilde play The Importance of Being Earnest.  The musical follows the original action of a play to a tee, that is, the story of two men who utilize the fake identity of a sick relative to put themselves into and get themselves out of various situations.  The only additions and changes that are made are several scenes and musical numbers focusing on the servants of the manor.  Though several films and other adaptations had been made of the play, this was the only musical version of the original source material.

The musical is a lengthened version of a one-hour musical written for television, titled Who's Earnest?, which premiered on The United States Steel Hour  in 1957.


Ernest In Love opened on May 4, 1960 at the Gramercy Arts Theatre Off-Broadway.  Though the production was warmly received by critics, it ran for only 103 performances,  though the musical was then performed several times in stock and amateur productions for the next several years.  In 2005, the Japanese all-female musical theatre troupe Takarazuka Revue staged a prominent production of the musical.  In 2010, the Irish Repertory Theatre revived Ernest In Love Off-Broadway.

Cultural Influence

  • Ernest In Love was the first collaboration between Anne Croswell and Lee Pockriss.  The two would go on to write the musical Tovarich in 1963, which served as Vivien Leigh's Broadway debut.


  • Celebrities that have performed in Ernest In Love include: Louis Edmonds (Algernon), Beth Fowler (Lady Bracknell), Annika Boras (Gwendolyn), and Noah Racey (Jack).
  • The songs from Ernest In Love were written by Lee Pockriss, the same man who created "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini".