You Never Can Tell

By George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Shawn Douglass
November 21, 2012 – January 6, 2013

When Shaw saw The Importance of Being Earnest, he decided to show Oscar Wilde how to really write comedy. The result was You Never Can Tell, loaded with dazzling wit and pointed jabs at turn of the century British society.

Set in an English seaside resort, a young penniless dentist is swept up into the delightful world of a formidable feminist authoress and her three eccentrically-raised children, none of whom know the identity of their father. Invited to lunch, the dentist instantly falls in love with the elder daughter and must now negotiate a maze of family dramas, lawyers, and long-lost fathers, aided and abetted by a kindly old waiter. Shaw’s beloved combination of dazzling wit and clear-eyed social critique makes this romantic comedy of mismatched parents and children a perfect holiday treat for the whole family.

Will lovers unite? Will the children ever learn who their father is? Will parents’ wills prevail? Will the twins ever shut up? And will these men survive Shaw’s “woman of the 20th century”? You never can tell.

Shawn Douglass, who directed our acclaimed presentation of Earnest, is back at the helm, and Greg Matthew Anderson back on the boards, in this multi-generational romp of mistaken identity and ever-changing relationships at a seaside resort.


“buoyant laughter… effervescent, fast-moving… tremendously gifted and attractive cast that knows precisely how to bite into Shaw’s demanding language”
– Hedy Weiss, Sun-Times

“impeccably revived…another glowing feat from the ever-polished Remy Bumppo Theatre Company…(Shawn) Douglass gets the chemistry endearingly right”
– Lawrence Bommer, Stage and Cinema

“scenic and costume team does an impeccable job… sumptuously cast… a nearly perfect balance”
– John Accrocco, Newcity Stage

“hilarious comedy of errors… masterfully played by a game cast of actors… This is fantastic theatre – don’t miss it!”
– Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

Production Photos


Director- Shawn Douglass
Assistant Director- Cassey Martin
Stage Manager- Amy M. Bertacini*
Assistant Stage Manager- Courtney Jackson
Dramaturg- Lisa Kelly
Scenic Designer- Timothy Mann
Lighting Designer- Lee Fiskness
Costume Designer- Emily Waecker
Sound Designer- Nick Gajary
Properties Designer- Julie Eberhardt
Production Manager- Jonathan Nook
Set Construction/Technical Direction- Left Wing Scenic, Matt Kollar
Dialect Coach- Doreen Feitelberg
Assistant Costume Designer- Yonit Olshan
Wig Builder- Penny Lane Studios


Greg Matthew Anderson- Valentine
Dale Benson- William
Darrin French- Jo
Kaitlin Gilgenbach- Parlourmaid
Rob Glidden- Bohun
Doug Hendel- Crampton
C. Jay Miller- Dorothy
Elaine Rivkin- Mrs. Clandon
Peter A. Davis- McComas
Eliza Stoughton- Gloria
Alex Weisman- Philip