You Can't Take It With You
Nov. 7, 2008 - Dec. 14, 2008 Directed by Jim Crino
Lakewood Theatre Company presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, You Can't Take It With You
Getting to the altar has never been funnier than in this 1930's screwball comedy. Alice Sycamore invites her fiancee's parents home to meet her family. The Kirby's are stuffy, self-important and wealthy, while the Sycamore's are good-hearted lunatics with little visible means of support. Lifestyles and philosophies collide - with hilarious results. Perfect for the holidays, You Can't Take It With You adds some spice to the season. The show sponsor for You Can't Take It With You is The Bank of Oswego.
Has the recent financial news got you down? Are you wondering if your government really has all the answers? Then it's definitely time to see Lakewood Theatre Company's presentation of the classic all-American Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, You Can't Take It With You, by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.
When You Can't Take It With You opened on Broadway in 1936 it proved to be a tonic for a country reeling from the Great Depression. In an era eerily reminiscent of today, the country was experiencing one of the worst economic periods in its history. Americans lost their life savings, homes, and jobs in the stock market crash and the numerous bank failures which followed. Money was on everyone's mind.
However, at the zany Sycamore household in You Can't Take It With You, presided over by Grandpa Vanderhof, money is not a family priority. Instead, everyone does just what he or she pleases from collecting snakes to playing the xylophone. The only "normal" family member is granddaughter Alice, who is in love with her boss, Tony Kirby. When Tony's stuffy parents come to visit, you can expect a few fireworks and even a police raid!
Directed by Jim Crino, You Can't Take It With You opens Friday, November 7th at Lakewood Theatre Company and continues Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM until December 14, 2008. There are three Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM on November 16, December 7 and 14 and one Wednesday performance at 8:00 PM on Dec. 3rd.
Written in 1936, this light-hearted comedy has relevance for today in addressing the main theme of finding one's own way in today's complex society, while lightly viewing such topics as distrust of government, domestic terrorism and implications of foreign conflicts.
Perhaps America has been in love with You Can't Take It With You because we all see a little bit of ourselves in Grandpa Martin Vanderhof and his family members. Or, if not, perhaps we want to be like them.
"Grandpa" Vanderhof (John Morrison) was once part of the competitive business world. However, one day he realized he was unhappy. So, he stopped working. Since that time, he spends his days catching and raising snakes, watching graduation ceremonies, visiting old friends, and doing whatever else he wants to do. His daughter Penny (Vana O'Brien) writes plays simply because a few years ago a typewriter was delivered to the house by accident. His son-in-law Paul Sycamore (Don Stewart Burns) spends hours in the basement making illegal fireworks and playing with erector sets. His granddaughter Essie (Rani Lightle) sells candy and has been clumsily attempting ballet for over eight years. His grandson-in-law Ed Carmichael (Drew Danhorn) plays the xylophone (or tries to) and accidentally distributes Marxist propaganda.
Joining this free-for-all are Rheba (Josie Seid) the household cook; her unemployed boyfriend, Donald (Ken Dembo); Essie's opinionated Russian ballet instructor, Mr. Kolenkov (Jared McClain); Olga (Ellen Bloodworth), a Russian Grand Duchess; Gay Wellington (Mary Stewart), a heavy-drinking actress; Wilbur C. Henderson (Timothy M. Hill) a forlorn IRS employee and Mr. De Pinna (Jeremy Southard) a deliveryman who arrived 8 years ago and decided to stay. He now helps out with the fireworks and dresses in Roman togas to pose for Penny's portraits.
In this crazy mix of characters there is also Alice (Marissa Neitling), Penny and Paul's other daughter and apparently the only "normal" family member. She met Tony Kirby (Alex Fox) at his dad's Wall Street investment firm, and they've fallen in love. Culture shock and fireworks fly when Mr. Kirby (Gary Powell) and Mrs. Kirby (Susan Jonsson) come to visit. But the message is clear: "Life's pretty simple if you just relax," as Grandpa puts it.
Stage direction for You Can't Take It With You is by Jim Crino. Set design is by Chris Whitten, lighting design is by Alex Diaz, costume design is by Margaret Chapman and the producer is Kay Vega.