Shows E

tells him that the invalid, Mr. Bunbury, is a necessity just like bad brother Ernest. Jack is ready to get rid of Ernest if Gwendolen only accepts to marry him. Algy tells him that he's crazy for every man needs an Ernest or Bunbury. Lady Bracknell and Gwendolen arrive, and after a bit of conversation, Lady Bracknell announces to Algy that she has arranged for Algy to have dinner with a young woman by the name of Mary Farquar. Algy winces at the mention of her name and simply tells his aunt that he can't join her and Miss Farquar for dinner because Mr. Bunbury is sick once again and he must visit him. Lady Bracknell goes into the music room with Algy for a little concert - Jack and Gwendolen have a chance to be alone for a few minutes. It is here that Jack/Ernest and Gwendolen admit that they love each other passionately, and Jack proposes marriage to Gwendolen. She tells him that she is ready to accept him. He sings the song "Perfection" telling her all that she is to him. Upon hearing this, Gwendolen informs him that she knew she would marry him because she's always wanted to love someone named "Ernest." Jack asks her if she would love him if his name were Jack rather than Ernest? Absolutely not! She only loves Ernest. He kisses her to stop any further analysis of the situation. Lady Bracknell returns, and Gwendolen informs her mother that she is engaged. Lady Bracknell tells her daughter that an engagement is something that a young girl doesn't arrange by herself, so she should wait in the carriage. Gwendolen waits in the carriage while she talks with Jack. Lady Bracknell now questions Jack about his breeding, and Jack informs her that actually he didn't know either of his parents. The late Mr. Thomas Cardew found him in a black handbag in the cloakroom at the Victoria Train Station. The bag was given by mistake instead of his own. He raised Jack as his own son. Lady Bracknell is rather concerned by all of this as she sings "A Handbag Is Not A Proper Mother." If Jack/Ernest wishes to be considered as a possible husband for her daughter, he must find another mother and father because this will never do. Upon stating this, she leaves. Jack informs Algy that he must go home to the country and straighten things out. He first needs to get rid of Ernest forever by having him "die." Algy then asks Jack what his ward, Cecily, is like and says that he'd like to meet her. Cecily is only eighteen and is excessively pretty. In fact, Jack knows that Cecily and Gwendolen are certain to be extreme friends. Gwendolen reenters and informs Jack/Ernest that from the expression on her mother's face it is evident that the they will never marry, but nevertheless, she will have eternal devotion to him. She gets his country address from him, and promises to communicate daily. Listening in the corner, Algy carefully copies the address. Jack escorts Gwendolen to her carriage, and Lane brings Algy different clothes into which he gladly changes ready to go to Jack's house in the country and have a bit of fun playing "Mr. Bunbury." (reprise) The following day in the garden of Jack's country Manor House, Cecily is watering the roses and the old spinster Miss Prism (who watches Cecily) is knitting. Miss Prism tells Cecily that she should be studying , since her guardian, Jack, has left strict instructions. Cecily wishes that strict Uncle Jack would let his wild brother, Ernest, come down. Maybe then they could all have some fun. Effie the maid announces that Dr. Chausable, the local pastor, has arrived. Upon hearing this, Miss Prism starts to primp. After a bit of conversation, Miss Prism fakes a slight headache and asks to go for a stroll in the park with Dr. Chausable. He accepts and the two leave. Upon their leaving, Effie announces to Cecily that Jack's younger brother, Ernest, has arrived from London. Cecily is quite intrigued at finally getting to meet him and sings "A Wicked Man." Hopefully, he'll be everything she has dreamt him to be. Effie returns with Ernest (In actuality, it is Algy posing as Ernest.) He flirts terribly with Cecily, and she enjoys it tremendously. Cecily hears Miss Prism and Dr. Chausable returning from their walk, and pulls Ernest/Algy off with her. Miss Prism, too, is flirting - basically telling Dr. Chausable that he need's to get married. In the song "Metaphorically Speaking" Prism shows Dr. Chausable how a mature woman is like a flower in full bloom. She finally has him dancing with his arms around her when Jack enters. He is all dressed in the deepest mourning announcing that his brother, Ernest, is dead in Paris. Cecily then enters and announces a surprise - his brother Ernest is here for a visit. Everyone is stunned by Ernest's "miraculous recovery" - especially Jack. Jack is quite stunned/upset, but Cecily who is completely enchanted with Algy/Ernest demands that Jack shake his hand. Jack and Algy are left alone and Algy announces that he is ready to stay for a week. Also, he finds Cecily to be a darling. Jack insists that Algy leave; however, Algy says that if he is forced to he will wire Gwendolen