The set, a living room scene, was so impressive people would
walk into the auditorium and say, Wow. Douglas S.
Scheers set left nothing to be imagined including a dart
board, a printing press, and a bride and groom cake topper on
display on a wall shelf.
The story is set in 1936. A 20-something girl, Alice Sycamore
(Marisol Suarez) comes home to her rather peculiar family to
announce that is she is courting her bosss son Tony Kirby
(Todd Middleton). She explains to her family how important the
young man is, and asks their cooperation in acting normal
when she brings his family to meet hers for dinner.
Penny Sycamore (Connie Ditch), Alices mother, is a painter
and a playwright with wacky script ideas and sex on the brain.
Paul Sycamore (Peter Bunn), Alices father, makes his own
fireworks in the basement with the help of his lackadaisical
business partner Mr. De Pinna (Harold Burger).
lices sister, Essie Carmichael (Becky Maltby), an aspiring,
but awful, ballet dancer, constantly breaks out into dance anytime
her husband, Ed Carmichael (Luis Valdespino) starts to play
the xylophone, conveniently located in the living room. The
last of Alices crazy relatives is her grandfather, Martin
Vanderhof (Jim Tharp). He refuses to pay taxes and has not worked
in 20 years simply because he would rather not.
Chaos ensues when Tonys socially conservative family
accidentally arrives a night early and catch the Sycamores
in all their embarrassing glory.
The plot, though hilarious, seemed a bit slow. The writers,
Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, originally wrote it to lift
the spirits of a nation going through the Great Depression.
The cast, comprised almost entirely of seasoned actors, was
chosen well except some of the younger roles were played by
actors too old for the part.
The star of You Cant Take it With You was grandpa. He
had a way of explaining the obvious that made us laugh. His
laid back, let-it-happen attitude was conveyed superbly by Jim
Tharp. His character carried the story and his performance carried
Tharps acting like the acting of the other seasoned performers,
outshone the younger cast members, especially the young couple
Alice Sycamore and Tony Kirby. The director Joyce Maltby did
not spend enough time directing these two, who were almost set
apart from the other actors as if they rarely rehearsed with
the rest of the cast.
Overall, You Cant Take it With You is still worth seeing.
Out of four stars, I give it two and a half.