James Earl Jones to Return to Broadway in 'You Can't Take It With You'

2:03 PM PST 04/24/2014 by David Rooney
Jason Kempin/Getty Images
James Earl Jones

The two-time Tony winner will star in a Scott Ellis-directed revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's 1936 comedy classic, opening Sept. 28.

NEW YORK – Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman are suddenly all over Broadway again.

While the legendary playwriting team's earliest collaboration is being depicted in Act One, a stage adaptation of Hart's memoir, which opened this month at Lincoln Center, their Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 comedy, You Can't Take It With You, is headed for an early-fall revival.

Directed by Scott Ellis, the production will star James Earl Jones as Martin Vanderhof, the philosophizing patriarch of an eccentric New York City household, which erupts into mayhem when one of his granddaughters invites the parents of her rich fiance to dinner and the two families collide. Producers have confirmed that the revival will have a multiracial cast.

A smash hit that ran for two years in its premiere engagement, the play was last revived on Broadway in 1983, with Jason Robards and Colleen Dewhurst. The farcical comedy is best known for Frank Capra's beloved 1938 screen version, which starred James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Lionel Barrymore, and won Oscars for best picture and director.

Jones has twice won the Tony Award for lead actor in a play, in 1969 for The Great White Hope, and in 1987 for Fences. His recent Broadway appearances have included Driving Miss Daisy in 2010, opposite Vanessa Redgrave, and Gore Vidal's The Best Man in 2012. Onscreen, Jones will next be seen with Robin Williams, Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, opening May 23.

A six-time Tony nominee for direction, Ellis most recently staged Broadway revivals of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Harvey. He also frequently directs for television, including multiple episodes of Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls, Weeds, 30 Rock and Frasier.

Previews of You Can't Take It With You will begin in August; official opening is set for Sept. 28 at a Shubert Theater to be announced, along with additional cast.

Lead producers on the revival are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, Jessica Genick and Will Trice. Prolific producers Richards and Frankel are represented on Broadway this season by Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, The Realistic Joneses, All the Way and The Bridges of Madison County, in addition to the hit revival of The Glass Menagerie, which ended its limited run in February.

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