You Can’t Take it With You by Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman

40528730_10156744852433489_2277719417330597888_oYou Can’t Take it With You
by Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman
Paperback, 87 pages
Published December 1st 1937 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1936)

Once again I returned to the stage, this time in a larger role.  I was extremely flattered when I was cast as Martin Vanderhof (Grandpa).  First off, someone else thought I was capable of pulling off the part, which by the way is a pivotal role in this play.  Second I began to wonder whether or not I could pull this off.  I didn’t realize that without the practice that memorizing that many lines for a man over 50 is a lot of work.  But I persevered and worked my arse off and we had a wonderful production.  I learned a lot about the play itself through the process, and I learned a thing or two about myself.  But as you know by now I will not be reviewing our production of the play (which was awesome, by the way) but I will summarize and give my opinion of the written work.

So we begin this journey with an array of some interesting characters.  Paul and Penny Sycamore are the mom and dad of family.  Paul dabbles in making fireworks.  He doesn’t have a license for such but that doesn’t stop him.  He also likes to work with Meccano / Erector sets and build toys for himself.  Penny writes plays, or at least tries, because 8 years ago a typewriter was accidentally delivered to their house.  This same incident is what ended her painting endeavors.

Their daughter Essie wants to be a ballet dancer but her hindrance is that she has no talent.  She does have a talent in making candy.  Essie’s husband Ed Carmichael, also has eclectic tastes.  He has a printing press so his hobby is printing anything he hears.  Ed also has a xylophone, so he dabbles in music.

The other Daughter Alice is the sane one of the bunch (picture Marilyn from “The Munsters).  Alice works in an office where she has fallen in love with the owner’s son and vice president, Anthony Kirby, Jr.  Alice has been putting off letting Tony meet her family, but the time is coming soon.

Paul Sycamore is assisted in his fireworks making business by Mr. DePinna.  DePinna delivered ice to the house 8 years ago and just stayed.  The Milkman did the same for five years before he died.  As you can tell  this family is accepting of everyone.  So why is Alice nervous for Tony to meet the family?

To top off this family the patriarch is Grandpa, Martin Vanderhof.  Grandpa stopped working 35 years ago because he no longer was having fun.  Since then he’s practiced darts, collected snakes, attended commencements at nearby Columbia University, collected stamps and just had the time of his life.    He owns property which somehow he earns a living from.  Which leads to the IRS wanting to know why he hasn’t paid taxes for the last 24 years.

The play builds when the two families meet and chaos ensues.  The Kirbys don’t want their son marrying into this riff-raff but Tony has his mind set.  It’s up to Grandpa to talk sense into the stuffy Kirby Sr.

This play shows that a family that has fun together can pull together and get by without having to stress over money.  Just getting by is not a bad thing.

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