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Photo by Jeri Dunn / Nathan Davies (Jack Worthing), Anna Blake (Gwendolyn Fairfax), Brandi Bethune (Cecily Cardew), Carter Harbin (Algernon Moncrieff) and Wes Phinney (Lady Bracknell), from left, debate the merits of true love, if it even exists at all in "The Importance of Being Earnest."

Fans of the work of Oscar Wilde have three chances left to catch "The Importance of Being Earnest" presented by Artistic Civic Theatre in Dalton, Georgia.

Shows are set for 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

Although this play was written near the end of the 19th century, its message is still valid: A person's name and heritage mean little; it's what you make of yourself that counts.

Two charming young ladies—sophisticated Gwendolen from the city and naive Cecily from the country—are in love with Earnest Worthing. But there is no such person as Earnest Worthing. Gwendolen thinks Jack is Earnest, and Cecily thinks Algy is Earnest. Each girl swears that she could never love a man who wasn't named Earnest.

If you go

* What: “The Importance of Being Earnest”

* Where: Artistic Civic Theatre, 907 Gaston St., Dalton, Georgia

* When: 8 p.m. January 30-31 and Feb. 1

* Admission: $16 adults, $14 senior adults and $12 students; ACT members receive a $2 discount

* For more information: 706-278-4796

In the midst of all this confusion comes Lady Bracknell, who doesn't like the idea of anybody loving anyone. Although this sounds like quite a mess, Wilde unwinds this knotty affair into one of the favorite comedies of English literature.

Kate Phinney directs a cast that includes Nathan Davies, Carter Harbin, Anna Blake, Brandi Bethune, Wes Phinney, Courtenay Cholovich, Christopher Smith, Adam Stark and Bryce Southerland.

"Oscar Wilde is one of the most hilariously insightful playwrights of the 19th century," says Phinney. "His words are witty, relevant and timeless. I have been a fan of Wilde's since performing his work in high school."

Tickets will be sold at the door or may be purchased online at http://actdalton.org/index.html.

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