James Earl Jones Serves as Ringmaster of Family Circus in You Can't Take It With You

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16 Aug 2014

"It's more relevant today than it was ten or 15 years ago," said Christopher Hart, son of the co-author. "The struggles of the '30s are similar to the struggles we're still coming out of, with the recession. The people in the play are having to do a little extra to get by. I don't think the fireworks and the candy-making and printing is just eccentric behavior. They needed to earn a little extra to get by. Times were tough. They didn't talk about it directly, but that's what it was all about. I think people will understand that."

Ellis, too, believes the play still has something to say to today's audiences.

"The politics of it all were very much of its times," said Ellis. "But the core, the heart of it has not changed. The idea of being true to yourself; and life is going to go by very fast. Just try to enjoy yourself. If anything, that has gotten stronger, because our world has gotten so fast. We're all on cell phones, we're all on computers."

For Hart, James Earl Jones has found the heart of the play. "He seems rather like Grandpa," said Hart. "He's very calm. He's swimming into it. Everybody expects it to be funny, because it's a comedy, but it's also very moving. He found that, James did."

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Kristine Nielsen, Mark Linn-Baker, Rose Byrne, Annaleigh Ashford, James Earl Jones and Will Brill
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

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