In 1936, George Kaufman and Moss Hart created “You Can’t Take It With You,” built around the Sycamores — a delightfully flaky family that has become a beloved part of the American cultural fabric. The playwrights earned a Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1937 for this gem. It is regularly produced in theaters across the nation, and is being staged at Parker’s Legend High School.
Legend’s Julie Lachance is on leave this academic year with a new baby and Denina Brown is interim director at Legend. Brown is assisted by students Katie Leggett, Shannon LaFairre and Breanna Gondek, and all sets, props and technical effects are designed by Legend students.
The play opens in the Sycamore home, where everyone (Erica Smith, Joshua Outzen, Patrick Feeney, Cassandra Johnson) has a favorite pursuit: Grandpa Vanderhoef raises snakes, refuses to pay taxes and attends commencements, while his daughter Penny writes bad plays. Her husband Paul makes fireworks in the basement and daughter Essie, a wannabe ballerina, makes candy, which her xylophone-playing husband, Ed, delivers, sometimes with revolutionary sayings he has printed at home … And there are more characters in residence.
Daughter Alice Sycamore (Natasha Williams), the normal one, works in an office and is in love with Tony Kirby (Alec Smith), scion of a conservative family. As they plan a marriage, Alice invited the Kirby parents (Brooke Allen and Tommy Milo) to dinner with her family and when Tony brings them on the wrong night, everyone gets into the act.
Other cast members include an African-American maid and her boyfriend; Boris Kolendov, Essie’s ballet teacher; Grand Duchess Olga Katrina; Mr. DiPinna, who just came one day; an IRS agent; and a boozy actress.
All concerned are in pursuit of a version of the American dream and hilarity ensues.