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You Can’t Take It With You

a Comedy
by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

COMPANY : Lionheart Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : College Street Playhouse
ID# 4898

SHOWING : May 06, 2016 - May 22, 2016



"You Can’t Take It With You" introduces audiences to the freethinking Sycamore family and the mayhem that ensues when their daughter’s fiancé brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to dinner on the wrong night.

Director Scott King
Set Designer/Props Tanya Moore
Set Designer/Props Tanya Moore
Olga Sheila Allen
Penny Sycamore Tanya G Caldwell
G-Man John Kelly Damico
Boris Kohlenkhov Allan Dodson
Essie Katie Engstrom
Mr. DePinna Leo Finocchio
Henderson Paul Franchak
Gay Wellington Phyllis Giller
Mr. Kirby Douglas Isbecque
Tony Kirby Jeremy King
Ed Paul Milliken
Donald Blake Panton
Paul Sycamore Rick Perera
Mrs. Kirby Kathleen Seconder
Rheba Nylsa Smallwood
Martin Vanderhof Evan Weisman
Alice Sarah Zuk
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


You Can Take the Memory With You
by playgoer
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Old favorites are favorites for a reason. Kaufman and Hart’s "You Can’t Take It With You" is one such. Its combination of eccentric characters and zany action can fizz and effervesce and explode into theatrical fireworks. Lionheart’s production comes close to that.

Tanya Moore’s prop-filled set is a delightful concoction of Victorian architecture and a congeries of memorabilia, perfectly matching the eclectic personalities and costumes (by Rebecca Spring) of the large cast. Gary White’s lighting design and special effects complement the production, and although the lighting isn’t even across the stage during a dimly lit scene, it otherwise draws attention to itself only when intended. Sound design by Scott King and Bob Peterson similarly complements the production.

Scott King’s direction keeps things moving and adds delightful touches here and there, besides ably blocking the large cast on the relatively small set to keep sightlines relatively clean. The pacing of the show makes it sparkle for long stretches, but there are lapses, particularly in the section right after intermission, when line pickup isn’t all it could be. When the lines snap along, the show does too.

In a community theatre production with a large cast, there’s always the danger of a few clunky performances. That’s not the case here. Some performances are more successful than others, but Mr. King has directed all the cast members to bring out their strongest theatrical qualities. Laughs abound, coming equally from laugh-out-loud lines by the playwrights and from character choices made by the director and actors. I was particularly fond of the performances of Tanya Caldwell (as Penny Sycamore) and Nylsa Smallwood (as Rheba), but every audience member is likely to have his or her own favorite actors. There are lots of sterling performances from which to choose.

One element that I feel doesn’t work particularly well is the romance between Alice Sycamore (Sarah Zuk), the daughter of the eccentric family, and Tony Kirby (Jeremy King), the son of wealthy, straitlaced parents. Both actors are charming and likeable, but there doesn’t seem to be real chemistry between them. Ms. Zuk doesn’t seem to have delved much beyond the surface of her character, not convincingly conveying Alice’s conflicting love and embarrassment concerning her family and its household. Still, she’s lovely and vivacious.

The screwball aspects of the script all work. Moving snakes, Donald’s rushing and leaping, Gay Wellington’s drunken postures on the sofa, and Essie’s energetic dance moves all contribute to the physical comedy. Add in the delightful xylophone playing of Paul Milliken as Ed and the costume get-ups called for by the script, and you end up with a raucous celebration of theatricality. Mr. King, with the contributions of his technical team and actors, has created a production of which Lionheart Theatre can be proud. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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