The Arts and U

By Josiane Dubois, Department of Theatre, College of Fine Arts

The University of Utah’s Department of Theatre is proud to present “You Never Can Tell” by George Bernard Shaw, Nov. 10-19 in the Babcock Theatre. Directed by Alexandra Harbold, “You Never Can Tell” is clever and hugely entertaining, one of Shaw’s earliest works that is as relevant as ever.

In the play, Mrs. Clandon, a world-famous feminist author and lecturer, returns to a seaside resort after years abroad, bringing along her daughter and disciple Gloria, and her two talkative twins, Dolly and Philip. Through a series of highly-improbable plot twists involving dentistry, lawyers, landlords and a “perfect waiter” named Walter, identities are confused, ideals are challenged and mischief is afoot. What could possibly happen? As a wise waiter continuously and hilariously observes, “You never can tell!”

Director Alexandra Harbold is no stranger to Salt Lake audiences. She recently directed “Ion,” a rule-breaking Greek tragedy, also abounding in mistaken identities with a 1950s spin. She directed the celebrated world premiere production of “Climbing with Tigers” at Salt Lake Acting Company in collaboration with Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory and the Red Fred Project in 2016. She has brought her exceptional directing skills to this production of confused identities as she’s flawlessly mixed matters of society, family dynamics and women’s rights.

With marital mayhem, tangled love, the play’s carefree tone is another of Shaw’s brilliantly observed social treatises, this time in the guise of a light comedy.

“You Never Can Tell” at a glance:
Dates and Times: Previews Nov. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. Show runs Nov. 10, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Nov. 12, 18, and 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Post-Performance Discussions: Nov. 17.

Location: The Babcock Theatre, located at 300 S. and University Street (1400 East) in the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, lower level. Free parking is available to the south of the theatre and at Rice Eccles Stadium.

Tickets: General Admission tickets are $18, U faculty and staff are $15, U students are free with UCard and all other students with valid student ID are $8.50. Tickets can be obtained by calling 801-581-7100, online at or at the Performing Arts Box Office, located at Kingsbury Hall.