You Can’t Beat the House

by Jada Ingleton

IN ACTION: Main characters Glenda Spears and Conrad Spears argue over the wrongs of their marriage, while prospective burglar Merle debates his escape. The dramatic irony of the play greatly entertained the audience, as the characters lied and deceived their way through each scene (From left to right, Joshua Lederberger, Riana Kreuz, and Noah Levin). Photo by Jada Ingleton

After a series of annual plays showcasing, among other themes, the 1920s musical era, West Broward’s Drama Production has taken a new approach in this year’s fall showcase by testing its luck with a new genre; with much excitement and effort put into it, Drama lovers and supporters got a taste of the comedic rendezvous known as You Can’t Beat the House.

You Can’t Beat the House is what’s known as a “screwball comedy” set in modern times that tells the story of two burglars, Howie and Merle, and their comedical journey of trying to rob a house that unbeknownst to them, is up for sale. The story takes place in one setting, a factor the Drama team worked hard to stay true to, and comes up with one wisecrack joke after another. 

You Can’t Beat the House” is really different from other plays and shows we’ve put on before,” said senior and club member Celina Pomare. “For instance, it doesn’t come with the musicality side to it. There’s no singing, no ensemble, no band, or dancing. It’s a show of pure acting and dialogue.”

While past plays have had scene changes and transitions throughout, You Can’t Beat the House was set in the house of the attempted robbery, and the characters used that sole setting to their advantage. 

Main character, Howie, played by senior and Club President Kaleb Hobson-Garcia, was the center of the humorous side of the play. His character’s lack of common sense and unintentional difficulty allowed for some witty banter, and brought to light humor that everyone could understand.

“Playing a not-so-bright burglar really gives me the opportunity to have fun with the lines and focus on a more natural personality to play,” Hobson-Garcia said. “Just reading the script and hanging out more with my fellow burglar, Joshua Lederberger, helps me get more into character and develop an easy chemistry that will benefit the show as a whole.”

While the back and forth between Merle and Howie play a massive role, their relationship isn’t the only one that gave a big hit. Spouses Conrad and Glenda Spears (played by junior Noah Levin and senior Riana Kreuz, respectively) gave audiences a treat with their complicated and fiery love that stemmed from a strong disagreement about Glenda’s relationship with her pushy mother. Like a typical marriage, the couple had their fair share of arguments and struggles, ranging from having a problem with patience to simply not agreeing with housing decor. Nonetheless, their constant need to fuss and bicker added a mood of lightness to the scenes and showed that even with the inevitability of problems, the love is still there.

You Can’t Beat the House gave Drama members a show like no other. The comedic upside to it allowed both the actors and spectators to experience something new on the stage and engage in a show that was a little more relatable, but just as exciting as the rest. Luckily for audiences, the season is just beginning. Showcases set for both winter and spring will bring more changes, anticipation, and most importantly, drama for viewers to get a taste of. 

“With three unique shows and a brand new class dedicated to musical theatre, there will be an influx of talent far greater than anything before,” Levin said. “I’m incredibly excited for more Bobcats to see what their theatre program is truly capable of.”

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