You Can’t Take it With You


George Stimson

Junior Caleb Gibson and senior Amin Fozi in SDA’s production of “You Can’t Take it With You.”

Even if one may not have a father who makes fireworks in the basement or have a dancer sister who has spent 8 years trying to accomplish a pirouette, having to cope with family strange-ness is still something everyone has to deal with. In the recent production of the play, “You Can’t Take it with You,” these strange characters and others create an amusing and ultimately heart-warming story.

The plot revolves around the three generations of the bizarre and quirky Sycamore family living in pre-World War II America. The first act serves as an introduction to them, as well as their equally unusual friends. They have an eclectic variety of professions and personalities, with the mother taking on playwriting, the father a professional fireworks maker, the grandfather a former businessman who got bored one day and quit, and so on.

Nobody in the family does anything one would call “ordinary.” However, one daughter has her eyes set on the vice president of a major Wall Street firm, but fears (and rightfully so) that her weird family will drive the executive’s family apart.

I was most impressed by the work put into the production, especially with the 30’s-style costumes and set design. The set created a warm and comfortable environment to be around and had that kind of feeling of being at home. The performance of the actors themselves was excellent and the cast had a wonderful chemistry to them, even in the especially crowded scenes where nearly the entire ensemble was present.

However, it was not completely without faults. Sometimes characters would continue dialogue too quickly after a humorous line, and the audience would miss out on a line or two in their hearty laugh. In addition, the first act was a little confused by the plot and only at the end of the act was the main story line apparent. Nonetheless, by the second and third acts, the script sorted itself out to make for a truly entertaining production.

It was pleasant to watch something different from the classic and rather negative dysfunctional family that is common in TV and movies. “You Can’t Take it with You” portrays a positive family, and because of that, it creates a fuzzy feeling inside because the family is easy to identify with. The play is a light-hearted and humorous view on family life and the themes it touches on is sure to have some semblance to real life.