You Can't Take It With You
by Tri-School Theatre
What do you get when you blend a newly engaged couple with the IRS, illegal fireworks, ballet dancing and the Grand
Duchess of Russia? A riotous performance of You Can’t Take It With You, courtesy of Tri-School Theatre of Anaheim.
Set in 1930's New York, the play revolves around two lovers, Alice Sycamore (the only “normal” one in the family, played by Emma Smith on the attended Sunday performance), and Tony Kirby (Andy Van Driesen), who is the son of high-class businessmen. As Alice and Tony struggle to hold their relationship together despite the differences in their families, chaos unfolds at the Sycamore residence in this exciting, comedic show.
It’s the classic Romeo and Juliet tale of star-crossed lovers from disapproving families. In this case, the high-class Kirby’s are appalled at the eccentricities of the wacky Sycamore’s. Alice is conflicted - she loves her family, but is embarrassed by what the Kirby’s might think of their oddities. Despite their zany antics and unconventional ways, this tight-knit family offers hope that love and laughter lead to happiness, even in the hardest of times.
The cast portrays some extremely zany and off-kilter characters, such as Grandpa Vanderhaf (Steven Wehner) a crafty, warm hearted old man who dropped out of Wall Street years ago with his philosophy "Life's pretty simple if you relax", and an unpretentious Penny Sycamore (Mollie Renze) who paints and writes plays on a typewriter, which was delivered by mistake eight years ago. Her main goal is to make sure everyone is happy, particularly her daughter Alice. She is on stage almost all the time. Then there’s the lively Mr. Kolenkhof (Peter McManus) with his booming accent and his wisecracks about life in Russia, the comical antics of Mr. De Pinna (Matthew Martinez), along with the intoxicated Miss Gay Wellington (Isabelle Fabrizio) who earns lots of laughs from the audience in a role as an actress that Mrs. Sycamore meets on a bus and invites home to read one of her plays. But the adorable and hilarious Joanna Juarez all but dances away with the show as Alice’s ballet-mad sister.
Director Marrone’s enthusiasm for the show says it all: "Tonight you will see and hear a gorgeous show and that credit must be shared with Scott Kahler for the vision, design and construction of our incredibly beautiful sets, period-detailed costumes by Mary Anne Villalobos and her student crew, Hair and Make-up by Nicole Rickard, spectacular lighting by Tyna Kennedy, and vibrant sound by Katie Carter.”
A longtime favorite of high school and community theaters alike, You Can't Take It With You has been seen so often and by so many people it’s easy to forget how radical its message of individuality was at the time it debuted in 1937. You Can't Take It With You probably won't shake its reputation as an old-fashioned comedic chestnut. But Tri-School's lovely revival is a great reminder of why people keep returning to this family comedy.
Performed November 10 - 13, 2016
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