LA Theatre Works is a unique and rich source of live performances. Their audio productions are recorded in front of a live audience, which provides two benefits, especially in a wonderfully silly play like this: you can laugh along with other (real) people, and the actors are unlikely to drop their voices to a whisper. It's not quite the same as seeing the play on stage, but it's closer than listening to a studio production. You trade a small measure of verisimilitude in the sound for a large measure of communal laughter.
There's not much to say about the play itself. It's a puff of air, a totally ridiculous situation where the farce is embodied in a rapid exchange of one-liners rather than in pratfalls. Wilde's brilliant language sparkles throughout.
I listened to the other recordings of this play available on Audible, and while one of them in particular features a more stellar cast, they lack the energizing effect of hearing the responses of other people to the same lines that made me chuckle. Yes, it sounds "stagey" at times, but that's why I liked it!
This recording also includes an interview with the director.
This is a mysterious and haunting audio version. It's basically the soundtrack of a stage production that was done in a highly stylized form some 50 years ago: the actors wore masks and spoke in an "elevated" way, sometimes emphasizing the verse (I believe the translation is by W.B. Yeats), sometimes trailing off into a wail of pain. You can almost imagine you're sitting in one of the great stone amphitheaters of ancient Greece. The tone of it takes some getting used to, but if you let it take hold of you, it's compelling and moving. The closing music, for me, sums up the somber, exalted mood of Greek tragedy better than anything else I've heard.
Riveting, moving performances. Wonderful works performed by various groups. If you like theater, you will love these. So well done I feels like I was present at the performance.