Tonight marked the closing performance of the 3 act fall play, You Can't Take
It With You at Arvada West High School in Arvada, Colorado. The show is a kooky comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman was first
produced in 1936.
Not that her loving relatives mind, but Alice Sycamore (played here by Brooke Oliver) is the black sheep of her family: she works for a
Wall Street banking firm and dates Tony Kirby (Taylor Nelson), the boss' son (though for love, not money). Oliver is conflicted as Alice,
who adores her family but fears they will alienate Tony and his upper-class parents. In contrast to the Sycamores are the unhappy Kirbys.
The plot shows how Tony brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the Kirbys, who are
invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. Tony knows the Sycamores are right and his own
people wrong; he will not give her up, and in the end Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores.
The show involves strange activities by certain members of the household- they are engaged in the manufacture of fireworks, there is a
printing press set up in the parlor, and then there is Grandpa's interview with the tax collector. It is a hoot of a show, despite feeling a
bit dated in 2007.
Director Lauren Kott & assistant director Tom Tooley show us in this production the standard of high school theatre in America.
The show was performed without sound reinforcement on a very traditional stage & set that is just a great reminder of what educational
theatre is about.
Performances here include Olivia Tracey as Penelope Sycamore, Gage Scofield as Paul Sycamore and Korey Neveau and Sammie Brown as Ed & Essie
Carmichael. Mr. & Mrs. Kirby were Bobby Guard & Heather Loxton, Rheba the maid and her beau Donald are C.J. Kobishop and LaShara Price.
Sean Thompson is Martin Vanderhof and Tyler Hoff is Mr. Depinna. Notable performances came from Sammie Brown as Essie, who uncontrollably
dances through most every scene and Audrey Todd as the hopelessly drunk Gay Wellington, whose antics clearly took a bit of rehearsal time for
the production. Sean Thompson's Grandpa certainly wasn't old, but he did have good control
of the meaning & importance of his lines. Olivia Tracy and Heather Loxton were the performances who seemed to have the best sense of their
On a personal note, there was quite a coincidence at tonight's performance. 25 years ago, I gave my first performance in a musical as a
chorus member in Arvada West's "Brigadoon". "You Can't Take It With You" was the final performance in the school's old- and well-used- auditorium.
It was a lovely experience being there for your closing of a show and a venue that has meant much to many.
I certainly took something with me- "life is beautiful if you just let it come to you".
Performed October 11 - 13, 2007.
Tammy Franklin, Arvada West Alumni, class of 1983
National Youth Theatre
~ Cast ~
Ms. Olivia Tracy
..Mr. Gage Scofield
....Ms. Brooke Oliver
...Mr. Taylor Nelson
..Mr. Korey Neveau
.Ms. Sammie Brown
...Mr. Bobby Guard
.....Ms. Heather Loxton
...Mr. Tyler Hoff
Ms. Audrey Todd
Ms. LaShara Price
..Mr. C.J. Kobishop
..Mr. Sean Thompson
.Mr. Cody Cline
Ms. Brandi Gonzales
Ms. Veronica Torsney
....Ms. Jordann Homack
Ms. Emily Thurby
.Ms. Anna Wiegert