NEW YORK, N.Y. – James Earl Jones is coming back to Broadway in a play that’s almost as old as he is.
The 83-year-old two-time Tony Award-winner will star in a fall revival of the zany “You Can’t Take It With You,” the 1936 comedy about an engagement that forces a wealthy uptight family to meet an off-kilter one. It was written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.
Previews will begin in August, with official opening set for Sept. 28. Additional casting and the theatre will be announced later. Scott Ellis will direct.
Jones, who won Tonys in 1969 for “The Great White Hope” and in 1987 for “Fences,” was in “Driving Miss Daisy” in 2010 opposite Vanessa Redgrave, and Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” in 2012.
The plot centres on a young woman who must introduce her fiance’s straight-laced family to her rather more eccentric family. Craziness immediately ensues.
The play, which won a Pulitzer Prize and initially ran for two years from 1936-38, was last revived on Broadway in 1983 starring Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst. Frank Capra directed a film version in 1938 starring Lionel Barrymore and James Stewart.
The upcoming revival of “You Can’t Take It With You” will be produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Jessica Genick and Will Trice.
The Kaufman and Hart collaboration lasted from 1930 to 1940. The first play they worked on together was the hit “Once in a Lifetime.” Hart’s autobiography “Act One” — which ends with the birth of “Once in a Lifetime” — has been turned into a play currently at Lincoln Center.