The 1936 play “You Can’t Take It With You” is one of the most popular in the repertory, according to Jewel Box patrons. This production is directed by Angela Prock and stars an ensemble cast of seasoned performers who provide a charming evening of comedic theater.
At the center of the action are Alice (Kylie Groom) and her beau Tony (Craig Musser). This young couple has a certain naive chemistry, as Tony tries to overcome Alice’s embarrassment about her eccentric family.
From Grandpa (Paul Smith), who walked out on a corporate job decades before and has never paid his income tax, to his daughter Penny (Dana Billingsley), an aspiring playwright who used to be an aspiring painter, to Penny’s husband, Paul (Glen Hallstrom), who makes fireworks in the basement with the assistance of a delivery man (Larry Harris) who came with a package years before and never left, to daughter Essie (Ali Swift), who is following her mom’s example and is an aspiring ballet dancer, to Essie’s musician-cum-delivery-man husband (James Hartsfield) to the visiting Russian expatriate (Randall Hunter), Alice’s family home is filled with people pursuing their own extraordinary dreams and supporting each other unconditionally.
By contrast, Tony’s father (Paul Tomlin) is a Wall Street financier and his mother (Sidney Greathouse) a socialite, and both are miserable.
Acting as chorus to this melange are the cook/housekeeper Rheba (Tyra Bullock) and her unemployed boyfriend Donald (Valentino Valentin). These two roles are specifically written for black actors, and the play contains several elements of racially charged dialogue and anachronistic references that some may find inappropriate or offensive.
‘You Can’t Take It
•Where: Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N Walker.
•When: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through May 4.
•Information: 521-1786 or jewelboxtheatre.org.