‘You Never Can Tell’: St. Thomas Players tackle George Bernard Shaw
By Katie Scarvey
“When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.”
óGeorge Bernard ShawGeorge Bernard Shaw’s play “You Never Can Tell” is funny ó and it does contain hidden truths ó which makes it a perfect summer offering from the St. Thomas Players, the drama troupe of Center for Faith and the Arts.
“You Never Can Tell” opens Thursday, June 18 at the Florence Busby Corriher Theatre on the Catawba College Campus.
The play is directed by Claudia Galup. Diana Moghrabi is stage manager, and David Pulliam is set designer.
“You Never Can Tell” is set in 1896 at an English seaside resort. Mrs. Clandon (Anne Cave) and her three children, Dolly (Jennifer Hubbard), Phillip (Jonathan Furr) and Gloria (Frances Bendert) have just returned to England after spending 18 years in Spain. They don’t know who their father is ó and unwittingly, invite him to a family lunch.
Another part of the plot involves a dentist, Mr. Valentine (Marc Trent Tucker), who has fallen for free-thinking Gloria.
Gloria, Galup says, has been raised to be a “modern woman” who believes she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. When she meets Valentine, however, she’s horrified to find herself succumbing to chemistry.
“You Never Can Tell” is the first play Shaw wrote specifically for a commercial audience. Although the play is a frothy romantic comedy, it’s much more than that because of its pointed social commentary.
“Most of Shaw’s plays have something to do with the artificiality of class distinction,” Galup says. She points out that the waiter, played by Len Clark, is actually the most genteel and considerate of all the characters.
The play, Galup says, is clever, witty and fast-paced, with funny characters, especially the twins (Hubbard and Furr). Gary Thornburg is also funny as a crotchety old man, she adds.
Galup calls her cast “overachievers” and says they have been a delight to work with.
A discussion will follow the performance, for anyone who wishes to participate.
The play runs June 18-21 and June 24-27. Except for the June 21 performance, which will be at 2 p.m., all performances will be at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10, available at the door.
Wednesday, June 24, is “Bring a friend for free” night, with two tickets for the price of one.
Coming up in August is the St. Thomas Players’ production of “Proof,” which will be directed by Craig Kolkebeck.
For more information, call the Center for Faith and the Arts at 704-647-0999.