“You Can’t Take It With You”


“You Can’t Take It with You’

Bergen Players

Robert Massimi.

You Can’t Take It with You opened last night at The Players, the great play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. This play was a Tony Winner in the 80s and is a very difficult play to do and put on. The Bergen County Players did an admirable job in this opening night production. The comedic timing at times was slightly off, but none the less it was a pleasant evening. It is a story about the very eccentric Vanderhof/Sycamore family and the buttoned up Kirby’s. When Alice falls in love with Tony Jr, it is a matter of time before both families have to meet. Realizing that she is completely different from her family she tells Tony that she does not think it a good idea that they get serious. Nothing could be further from Tony’s wishes, he is deeply in love with Alice will not stand for any family matters getting in the way of their marriage plans. Alice is basically the only one who works, yes Ed delivers candy but this family does not have a care in the world. Martin Vanderhof quit his job 35 years ago and has never regretted it, nor has he ever paid taxes as he never saw the reason too.

You Can’t Take It with You has a lot of movement in it, from Essie’s ballet to Penelope Sycamores latest phase which is writing stories and Ed’s xylophone and Mr. DePinna who used to deliver ice to this family and decided to stay with them for the last eight years. Boris Kolenkhov is a regular in their house, he teaches Essie ballet. Martin Vanderhof, in the meantime, watches all the action from his chair. He is not without odd habits; he collects snakes and goes to college commencement address. All the balls are in the air and Paul Sycamore and Mr. DePinna are making the fireworks that the always do around July 4th. Paul makes his money for the year it seems by selling these fireworks as they calculate how many can be made in the next week or so to maximize profit.

The family with the exception of Alice really seem to enjoy one another, they are happy in their daily lives and it is evident when Martin gives his prayer before dinner. While Alice wants a “Meat and two vegetable family” this family could care less what people think. Penelope even brings in an actress to perform for her book, Miss Wellington, done very deftly by Mara Karg. Karg along with Roy Harry were two of the best actors of the evening. The set design was also done nicely by Lynn Lupfer.

At the end of Act 1 we meet the Kirby’s as the curtain comes down, they come on the wrong night and the loons are in full force. The second act picks up where act one ended, with Mr. and Mrs. Kirby in shock. The Sycamores scramble to feed the Kirby’s but it is the Kirby’s who want to get out of there as quickly as possible. David A. Luke does a nice job as Mr.Kirby. Some of his gestures and his comedic timing were passable for this play. The two families have the unthinkable happen to them and it all looks like Alice and Tony are done for good. As wiser heads prevail the two have the approval of both families.

As I said before this is a difficult play to perform on Broadway let alone Community Theater. The cast does an admirable job in keeping the audience engaged in this two-hour performance. The play moved quickly and was never boring. Under the Direction of Lupfer the play never loses a step. The evening was a good one for “The Players”. They tackled a tough one and did a nice job.




Author: nobullwithragingrobert

Was a drama critic at Manhattan College. Wrote professionally for Bergen News, Sun Bulletin . Alpha Sigma Lambda, Beta Theta. Has seen over 600 shows worldwide, has published both on Theater and Politics. Avid reader on many subjects and writers. Chief Drama critic for Metropolitan magazine. Writes for Jerrick media, American conservative, The City Journal and Reason magazine. Has produced shows both on and off Broadway.

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