You Can’t Take It With You is playing at the Longacre Theatre located at 220 West 48th Street.
It runs two hours and twenty minutes with two intermissions.
The play closes on January 4, 2015.
This is a comic play in three acts written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.
The original production of this play was at the Booth Theatre on December 14, 1936 and played for 838 performances. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1937 and was adapted for the screen winning two Academy Awards in 1938 for Best Picture and Best Director (Frank Capra).
There is a cast of twenty actors and “two adorable kittens”.
David Rockwell is the scenic designer. He has been nominated for three Tony Awards for “Kinky Boots” (2013), “Lucky Guy” (2013), “Hairspray” (2003) and three Drama Desk Awards for “Legally Blond” (2007), “The Rocky Horror Show” (2005) and ”Hairspray” (2003).
Scott Ellis is the director. He has been nominated for seven Tony Awards for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (2013), “Harvey” (2012), “Curtains” (2007),”Twelve Angry Men” (2005), “1776” (1998), “Steel Pier” (1997) and “She Loves Me” (1994).
James Earl Jones won two Tony Awards “Fences” (1987) and “The Great White Hope” (1969) and was nominated for two Tony Awards for “The Best Man” (2012) and “On Golden Pond”. He won and has received numerous awards during his long career in film and television.
Johanna Day won a Tony Award in 2002 for “Proof”. She is known for her role in of Marilyn Stafford in the day time soap opera “All My Children”.
Julie Halston was nominated for a Drama Desk Award “White Chocolate” (2004) and “Busch’s Red Scare on Sunset” (1991).
Reg Roger was nominated for a Tony Award in 1996 for “Holiday”.
Patrick Kerr is known his recurring role as Noel Shempsky on “Fraiser”.
Elizabeth Ashley won a Tony Award for “Take Her, She’s Mine” (1962) and was nominated for a Tony Award for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1974) and “Barefoot in the Park” (1963).
Kristina Nielsen was nominated for a Tony Award for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (2013).
Rose Byrne is known for her role in “Damages” television series (2007-2012). It earned her two Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. She was in all fifty nine episodes.
The time is June 1936. It takes place at the house of Martin Vanderhof, New York.
The story is about the Sycamore family. This is one dysfunctional, but lovable family. Penelope (Kristine Nielson) is the mother. She is a playwright and has been doing it for eight years. The one problem is she has not finished one of her plays. Her husband Paul (Mark Linn-Baker) makes fireworks in the basement along with Mr. DePinna (Patrick Kerr). DePinna was the ice man, who came to talk to Paul eight years ago and never left.
Penelope and Paul have two daughters Essie (Annaleigh Ashford) and Alice (Rose Byrne). Essie is a ballerina. She’s not good at it. Her husband Ed (Will Brill) plays the Xylophone around the house to which she dances to. Essie makes candy which Ed delivers. He puts small cards into the boxes of candy that he has made. Alice (Rose Byrne) is the only normal one. She is in love with her boss Anthony Kirby (Bryon Jennings) son Tony (Frank Krantz). His father is very proper and very rich.
Penelope grandfather (James Earl Jones) lives with them. He hasn’t paid any income tax since it started in 1914.
The rest of the characters are the maid Rhea (Crystal Dickinson) and her boyfriend Donald (Marc Damon Johnson). He runs errands for the family.
Mrs Kirby (Johanna Day) is Tonys mother. She is very prime and proper.
Boris Kolenkhov (Reg Rogers) a Russian emigrant who teaches Essie to be a ballerina.
Wilber C Henderson (Karl Kenzler) is an employee of the IRS.
Gay Wellington (Julie Halston) an actress Penelope meets on bus and invites her to read her play. However she passes’ out before doing it because she has been drinking so much booze.
G man 1, 2, and 3 (Nick Corley, Austin Durant and Joe Tapper).
Last is the Grand Duchess of Olga Katrina (Elizabeth Ashley) is a friend of Boris. She works at Childs restaurant and loves to cook.
This one off the wall family. Essie never stops dancing; her father keeps blowing up the basement testing the fireworks and grandpa is being chased by the IRS.
Tony proposes to Alice. She afraid when his family meet hers they won’t let him marry her. Another they are from a different social class. He insists their families meet, he loves her. All hell breaks loose when the Sycamore and Kirby’s met.
I’m not telling you how the characters come together; it’s for you to find out. Well for instance Grandpa tells the IRS man why should I pay taxes. Where does my money go? He replies to pay the President and Congress salary. Grandpa replies why would I want to do that? The play may have been written in 1936 but it is still funny today.
The cast blends well together. They do a great job. Especially outstanding are Annaleigh Ashford, Kristine Nielsen, Will Brill and Julie Halston.
Annaleigh Ashford does such a great job you wonder how she keeps dancing without collapsing. Kristine Nielson is so flaky you can’t help but love her. Will Brill so funny in his body motions. Julie Halston has a small role but the time she is on she keeps your attention on her until she is off the stage.
David Rockwell scenic design was fantastic. There is a Victorian House with a porch. On either side is a flat version of a house. When the show starts the flat houses move, the center house turns round and does the flat houses. You have the inside of a Victorian house with all its clutter.
The only problem was the sound, there were times when I could not hear and I was in the front mezzanine.
Oh how could I forget the adorable kittens? They are in the beginning of the Act 1, on Penelope’s desk. Every once in a while she will pet the cat, when the fireworks go off she is holding the cat by her breast. It looks like there is some kind of food they are eating on the desk. When she gives the maid the cat she retrieves another kitten from the side basket.
This is a must see show. It makes you realize maybe your family is not as weird as you thought they were? But then maybe they are!
Remember if you making money but not enjoying yourself “You Can’t Take It With You!
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos. Click on recent photos for this and other shows.