An eminent actor and the one who gave a distinct voice to the character of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones is making a big comeback on Broadway, where he debuted in 1957. Jones is headlining the Broadway revival of the comedic play You Can’t Take It With You, where he plays the eccentric patriarch of an equally quirky family in Manhattan. The play opens on September 28, but preview performances at the Longacre Theatre began on August 26.
The legendary actor is joined by a powerhouse cast that includes Golden Globe nominee Rose Byrne (making her Broadway debut), Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen, Tony Award nominee Annaleigh Ashford, and Tony Award winner Elizabeth Ashley. Byrne plays the role of Alice, the daughter who seems the most normal in the family.
You Can’t Take It With You won the Pulitzer Prize for drama after it premiered on Broadway at the Booth Theatre in 1936. Written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, the play was also adapted to film in 1938, and won an Academy Award. It portrays how the eccentric and freethinking Sycamore family acts when the daughter brings her fiancé’s conservative parents over to dinner on the wrong night. The play was last staged on Broadway in 1983 and returns this year helmed by six-time Tony Award nominated director Scott Ellis.
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The production featuring Jones has teamed up with the Humane Society for the kittens who will be featured in the show. In the play, Jones’ character is constantly surrounded by kittens. These kittens will be replaced as they age and offered for adoption to interested audience members.
Ellis has enlisted the services of scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Jane Greenwood and composer Jason Robert Brown to round out the revival production of You Can’t Take It With You.