Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reasons Why You Should Watch "You Can't Take It With You"

So, if you've been on this long journey with more for more than a year, you just might know that my high school does a fall play and a spring musical. This year, the play was Anne of Green Gables and this spring (well it got switched to the last week of February) Mary Poppins will be our musical. Unfortunately, it looks as if I won't be able to work it this year. But last year we did Footloose for our musical. But 2014's fall play was by far the best. And to be honest, there are times where I wonder if just because it was my first show that I worked, is the reason I think it's the best ;).

You Can't Take it With You follows the story of Alice Sycamore. It's set in New York City in the year of 1936. Now, imagine this: You're Alice Sycamore. You're a relatively normal girl, who has an office job and a life outside the house. But now, you have your family......

  • Martin Vanderhof is your grandpa. It's his house where you all live. He's never paid a dime of income tax and was at one point set to be a rich man, but left his job. He loves his pet snakes and likes to go to commencements, circuses and other eccentric things.
  • Penny Sycamore is your mother. She loves to write plays and paint (though she's terrible at both of them).
  • Paul Sycamore is your father. He is an tinkerer who makes fireworks in the basement. 
  • Mr. De Pinna is your father's assistant. He once delivered ice to the house eight years ago and never left. He also doubles as Penny's painting model.
  • Essie Carmichael is your dear sister who has taken ballet lessons and studied it for eight years. And she's determined to become a professional ballerina, though she is terrible at it. She also likes to make her own candy and makes her husband Ed sell it around the neighborhood.
  • Ed Carmichael is your brother-in-law. He plays the xylophone and is a printer (though he's not good at that either). He also sells Essie's candies. He'll print anything that sounds remotely catchy and also prints out dinner menus for the family each and every night.
  • Rheba is the house maid/cook for the Sycamores. They treat her extremely kind. She dates Donald, who is a sort of handyman for the Sycamores.
This is your house. Everyone listed lives under the same roof. They are all a bit (meaning a lot) eccentric. They do what they love, despite them not being "good" at it. While you (Alice), are a level-headed normal person with a job and a life outside of the house. You love your family, but are often embarrassed by them. Now, here are some of the house guests:
  • Boris Kolenkhov is Essie's Russian ballet teacher, who is very outspoken on Russian politics. Though he knows that Essie will never be a professional ballerina, and even knowing that she is not even good, he continues to teach her because she likes it so much.
  • Tony Kirby is your love interest and eventually becomes your fiancĂ©. He loves you and your family despite their eccentrics. His family is rich and prim and proper, and that's where all the troubles begin.

"You Can't Take It With You" covers the story of Alice Sycamore getting engaged to a rich man named Tony Kirby. When Tony tells Alice that he wants his parents to meet her family, Alice is panicked. Eventually, they set up a date and Alice her the family get ready for the special night- only to find out that Tony shows up with his parents a day early. The family quickly does what they can to make the night as pleasant as possible. It doesn't..... Government agents show up, after finding Ed's little pamphlets in Essie's candy boxes that read "Dynamite the White House" and "God is the State; The State is God" and other controversial things. They later go down to the basement and nab De Pinna, who has left his lit pipe downstairs. They also find a load of gunpowder and believe, from Ed's pamphlets that they plan to blow up the White House. An actress named Gay Wellington whom Penny had brought to the house to read her play (and had gotten drunk and passed out from seeing Grandpa's snakes) is brought down from upstairs singing drunkly. The scene ends with De Pinna's pipe setting off all the fireworks in the basement and getting all of the family (including Tony and his parents) in jail. Alice ends up breaking off her engagement to Tony. 

The next day, Alice is packing to leave and never return, when Tony comes to persuade her otherwise. Mr. Kirby then comes to pick up Tony. He and Grandpa start arguing about the importance of life. Mr. Kirby believes that you need a job to make money and be successful and all that jazz, while Grandpa believes that life should be able doing what you love. Tony and his father then start to argue about their way of life and the Sycamore's. Then the truth comes out: Tony purposely brought his parents on the wrong night to show his parents the true Sycamore's. He thought that Alice going through all the trouble of planning a party that would set a fake image of them was ridiculous. Tony wanted his parents to accept the Sycamore's as they were. 

In the end, Mr. Kirby succumbs and agrees with Grandpa. He joins the Sycamore's, Kolenkhov, and the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina, to a meal.

Now that you pretty much know the synopsis, I can share my reasons with you.

First off, I love the family. The entire family with all their wacky ways and little quirks. I have four sisters, and my mom and my dad. With seven people in the house, it often gets as interesting as what plays out in the Sycamore home. Every one of us in my family, also have our little wacky ways and quirks. I think that families often aren't what they seem. And while some may be different than others, you never see what goes on when you're not there. The most proper families may not actually be when company is not around.

Second, I love Grandpa's outlook on life. Though I may side just a bit with Mr. Kirby (like getting a job and being able to support myself), I can completely see Grandpa's view. Life shouldn't just be about worrying able living paycheck to paycheck, or always trying to reach the top rung of the ladder. As the saying goes, "All work no play makes Jack a dull boy". I agree with that. There are so many people who pass away with one regret, "I wish I hadn't worked so much, and spent more time with my family/ doing what I love". I look at life as a ride. There are the fast parts and the parts where you feel so dizzy from spinning. Seldom are there some slow parts where you just get to take it all in. We need to learn to take our time on our ride.

Third, this play........ It speaks a lot of truth, even just through the title. You can't take your money with you when you go, or your possessions, or any of your worldly things. What you can take are the memories, and all the happy times. I think that we need to remember that. While we want to live the good life here on earth, we need to remember that this life is temporary.

Fourth, I love Alice, because she just reminds us all that we need common sense *laughs uncontrollably here*. (The play is a comedy, so it's also good for comic relief) Admittedly, she is a bit of a pessimist, but then again, so am I, so I guess I relate to her a little.

Fifth, I love the time period this is set in.

Sixth, I love the relationship that Alice has with her family. She truly loves them dearly and does embrace their little eccentric ways, even with the fallout at the end of the play. I mean, they're her family. She can't help but love them.

All in all, this is actually a great family play. If there is a local theatre putting it on near you, I would gladly encourage you and your family to go and see it. We look at these new movies and even at new Broadway shows and see how different they are compared to the ones way back when. This is an older play about family and life in general and I'll bet a lot of people (especially the older generation) miss the more family quality in shows and movies nowadays. Let this awesome play take you back to the good ole days.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely ADORE the movie You Can't Take it With You with Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. How fun that you got to work on a play of it!! Although it sounds like the movie and the play are a wee bit different. There are no snakes in the movie, for one thing. ;)
    I really like your reasons for liking the play. There are a couple small-ish theaters where I live that I'd love to try out for sometime-maybe they'll put on You Can't Take it With You! I would definitely love to be a part of that. :)


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