‘You Can’t Take It With You’ opens Friday at FLT
Florence Little Theatre continues its 2017-18 season with the classic comedy “You Can’t Take It With You,” March 9-17. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., except for a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 11.
The play is directed by Brittany Miles, assisted by Jumana Swindler.
Performers include Dawn Porter as Penelope “Penny” Sycamore; Cliff Jones as Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhof; Brittany Miles as Alice Sycamore; Joey Webster as Tony Kirby and Lloyd Wilcox as Mr. Kirby; Meggie Baker as Essie Carmichael; Ray Taylor as Boris Kolenkhov; Shannon Dunn as Paul Sycamore; Chase Miles as Ed Carmichael and Larry Chewning as Mr. De Pinna.
Also, Daniel Knight is Donald; Lunden De’Leon is Rheba; John Bankson is Wilbur C Henderson; Heather Ward is Mrs. Kirby; Jessica Larrimore is The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina; and plays Gay Wellington.
G-Man 1 “The Man”is played by Nathaniel Daniels; G-Man 2 “Jim” is played by John Bankson; G-Man 3 “Mac” is played by Dylan Hudson.
The play centers around the Vanderhof family – a collection of cheerful and erratic, yet lovable incompetents. There’s Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, the salty and philosophical patriarch of this wacky family and a man who made his peace with the world, if not the IRS, long ago. Then there is his daughter, Penelope Sycamore, a cheerful and unpublished playwright, and her husband, Paul who happily manufactures fireworks in the cellar. The third generation consists of Penelope and Paul’s daughters and son-in-law: Essie Carmichael, the eternally optimistic, and inept ballerina, her husband Ed who has a passion for printing presses and xylophones, and Alice, a Wall Street secretary who seems to be the only normal character in the household.
Into this whirlwind of activity comes Tony Kirby, Alice’s boyfriend, the son of her boss, and the epitome of normality and success in the business world. Tony is amused by Alice’s family and loves her in spite of the craziness in the family home. Alice, on the other hand, is sometimes merely chagrined, sometimes mortified by what happens when she brings Tony to the house. Despite the differences between the two families, Alice and Tony are soon engaged, and (over Alice’s protests) a dinner party is planned for Tony’s parents – at the Vanderhof home.
Alice, of course, has misgivings about bringing Tony’s strait-laced parents into this maelstrom of activity, as she explained when she introduced Tony to her family: “I want him to take you in easy doses. I’ve tried to prepare him a little, but don’t make it any worse than you can help.” The family assures Alice that they will be on their best behavior, and the night is set.
However, as with most things in the Vanderhof family, things don’t go exactly as planned. Tony arrives with his parents in tow – but mistakenly arrives the night before the planned dinner party. And the Vanderhof tribe, rather than being on their best behavior are at their unplanned and hilarious worst.
The Kirbys, predictably, are appalled at the wild unorthodoxy of the Vanderhofs, which presently results in the arrest of the family – and of the Kirbys themselves.
Alice, convinced that the two families will never get along, determines to leave hers; but Tony, seeing something deeper in the family that his parents or perhaps even Alice don’t see, tries in vain to dissuade her and explains that he brought his parents to the party a night early on purpose: “I wanted (my parents) to see a real family – as they really were. A family that loved and understood each other.”
The Kirbys are angry at their son and disturbed that he could love such a family, but he insists that he still wants to marry Alice. Everything, eventually, is brought back to the important center by Grandpa, as he talks to Mr. Kirby and to Tony about what is really important and teaches everyone some vital lessons about life:
“You’ve got all the money you need. You can’t take it with you. . . And what’s it got you? Same kind of mail every morning, same kind of deals, same kind of meetings, same dinners at night, same indigestion. Where does the fun come in? Don’t you think there ought to be something more... We haven’t got too much time, you know – any of us.” The crew includes:
Wes Howell, stage manager with Brook Brown, Caleb Howell and Dylan Hudson assisting as stage crew.
Renee Miles, costume mistress, assisted by Deby Smith and Angel Saverance.
Dressers are Angel Saverance, Olyvia Gregg, Mandy Howell, Leranda Saverance and Deby Smith.
Set design and props include Arlene Boyd as set designer/props mistress; Laniee Stevens, Judie Pierce and Mandy Howell.
Makeup and hair is coordinated by Brittany Miles, Jordan Taylor, Leranda Saverance, Emily Bochett and Rebecca Perkins.
Shauna Lair is handling sound and Will Bynum is on lights.
Lobby art features works by Hal Campbell, Symon Gibson and Tiffany Thomas and the Florence County Museum.
The recommended minimum age is 13. The show runs about two hours. It is sponsored by Raldex Hospitality and A Friend of FLT.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 62 and above, and $14 for a student or child.
You may purchase tickets by phone at (843) 662-3731 Mon.-Fri. 12-5 p.m.; in person at the daytime box office, 417 South Dargan Street Mon.-Fri. 12-5 p.m.; or online at www.florencelittletheatre.org.