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You Can’t Take it With You Review

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Lights! Action! Comedy! PCPA’s newest play You Can’t Take It With You debuted on February 18th and I had the pleasure of going on opening night.

You Can’t Take It With You is a comedic play that takes place on the upper part of the east coast of the United States in the summer of 1938. It follows the Sycamore family and their friends who live together in one house. Mrs. Sycamore (Polly Firestone Walker) is a playwright and novelist with a cheerful personality and warm heart who wants what’s best for their family with. Mr. Sycamore (Don Stewart) is a fireworks maker who is currently working on his latest invention with his partner, Mr. De Pinna (Tyler Campbell). Alice, one of the Sycamore’s daughters who is played by Madison Shaheen, is an aspiring dancer and candy maker who lives in the house with her husband, an ameture printer named Ed (George Walker). Her teacher, Mr. Kolenkov (Andrew Philpot), comes by quite often with news from his friend in Russia which is currently undergoing Stalin’s regime. Grandpa Martin Vanderhof (Peter S. Hadres) is an ex-businessman and a tax evader who now collects and cares for snakes. Alice, the younger Sycamore, works for the Kirby Company and has now caught the eye of the Kirby’s son and vice president of the company, Tony Kirby (Chad Sommerville).

The play follows many different storylines of the family. It follows Alice and Tony’s courtship, Mr. Sycamore’s and Mr. De Pinna’s fireworks, Rheba and Donald, two servants who work in the house, and their lives played by Bianca Norwood and Iven Webster, Grandpa’s letters from the government on his tax evasion, Mrs. Sycamore’s artistic habits, Alice and Ed’s happy marriage, as well as Mr. Kolenkov’s friend in Russia and the grand duchesses who now live and work in the city. It gets even crazier as the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Kirby (Brad Carroll and Kitty Balay) stop by for dinner to meet Alice’s family on the wrong night. Needless to say, it doesn’t go how Alice wants and turns into an utter disaster for her, making her feel as though she was right when she said she and Tony’s worlds were too opposite to ever work together. However, logical reasoning isn’t always the best for everyone and that’s alright. It never hurts to try.

The acting was superb and the comedy had me and many others laughing until our sides hurt. The dinner scenes were so good that you could feel second-hand embarrassment for Alice as her family tried to salvage the ruined dinner party. I was very impressed because it was opening night, yet everything was en point, perfection. Then again, it is PCPA and they are known for taking things such as their productions very very seriously. The costumes were wonderful and representative of the era and the set was amazing and looked like all sorts of fun. Quite well done on all accounts.
Overall, it was very well done and I would recommend it to people who enjoy comedic plays or movies. The play airs from February 18th to March 5th for all who want to go see this hilarious play. Go catch it while you still can!

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