A Review of CCDS’s Fall Production You Can’t Take It With You

A Review of CCDSs Fall Production You Cant Take It With You

By: Rose Joffe ’21, Contributor

CCDS’s theater program started the season with a bang with three nightly performances on October 26-28th of You Can’t Take It With You. A large cast of talented CCDS actors and actresses took us back to New York City in the 1930s. While the story itself is a relatively simple one, the roles were well cast, the period costumes fantastic, and the acting very impressive.

Set in the home of the Sycamore family, who reside near Columbia University, the play is a love story of sorts, involving a very eccentric family. We are first introduced to Penelope Sycamore, skillfully played by junior Ava Kellar, who is passionately slaving away at a typewriter drafting scripts that no one will ever read. Soon her pseudo-ballerina daughter, Essie, played by senior Kaity Travis, clumsily prances across the stage. We quickly learn that the Sycamores are a family of misfits, other than their lovely daughter, Alice, played by junior Annabel Forman.

With a Russian dance instructor and a Grand Duchess, artfully played by sophomore Anika Minocha and freshman Celie Hudson respectively, coming in and out of the home and fireworks literally exploding in the basement, to say the Sycamore’s home is strange would be an understatement. Only Alice seems to be somewhat normal. When she announces to her family that she has fallen in love with her boss’s son, Tony, played by freshman Tommy Scheer, at the fancy Wall Street firm where she works, the audience expects a ‘culture clash’ between the families. This, too, would be an understatement.

Like Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Alice and Tony seem fated not to be together. While Tony’s family is extremely wealthy, we learn that they are, in fact, cold and judgmental. They do not approve of Alice’s family nor their eccentricities. Through the course of an ill-fated dinner party at the Sycamore home, the audience learns that the Sycamores have much more than wealth. They have a caring, loving family, something the fabulously wealthy Kirbys – the Mrs. played by freshman Ella Beyreis (and sophomore Joely Virzi) and Mr. Kurby by senior Thomas Retzios—have lost in their pursuit of money. Alice’s wise grandfather Martin Vanderhof, played by senior Nick Jacacci, chose decades before to leave the ‘rat race’ of Wall Street to enjoy life and his family, to ‘smell the roses’ as they say. For, as we know, you can’t take it (or the money) with you.