“You Can’t Take It with You” was a success!

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“You Can’t Take It with You” was a success!

Brandan Lawrence

One of the scenes of the fall drama, You Can't Take It with You

Allie Latini, Editorial Assistant

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Ongoing laughter, quirky quips, vociferous applause, and memorized lines filled the ears of audiences in the Baldwin auditorium as a lively cast moved about the beautifully decorated and well-propped stage.

On November 30 and December 1, 2012, the Massapequa High School Drama Club took to the stage with their production of the 1936 play You Can’t Take It with You. The show was directed by MHS English teacher and theater enthusiast Mr. Hue.

When I first sat down in the Baldwin Auditorium and heard the old fashioned music playing overhead, I was not quite sure what to expect. As the lights dimmed and the actors took the stage, the show proved to be both whimsical and unique.

The cast used their acting talents to portray a story of a young woman who is nervous to bring her fiancé’s family home to meet her eccentric relatives.

The beginning of the play focuses on developing each character of the Sycamore family as they go about a typical evening at home. As the show progressed, the audience learned about each family member and the quirks that made each of them individuals. Mrs. Penelope Sycamore, for example, has a love of writing interesting—and quite awful—plays about everything from war to romance. Her husband, Mr. Paul Sycamore, is obsessed with creating fireworks. Their daughter, Essie, desires to become a ballerina despite her lack of dancing ability.

Alice Sycamore, Penelope and Paul’s daughter, is the only seemingly normal member of the family. She is often embarrassed by her family’s eccentricities, and fears that they may scare away her fiancé Tony Kirby’s parents.

The majority of the production revolves around a dinner party in which the Kirby family visits the home of the Sycamores. Everything seems to go horribly wrong for Alice—the Kirbys arrive on the wrong date, dinner is not prepared, Mrs. Sycamore accidentally causes a fight between Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, and a drunken actress visiting the Sycamores staggers around the house in a stupor. To top it all off, both families are arrested by the United States government due to a misunderstanding.

All in all, the first act was very long, but the comical script kept everyone’s attention. The amusing antics of the cast helped move the plot along nicely. The production was well put together, and each cast member fit his or her role perfectly. “The characters were so interesting and enjoyable to watch!” junior Natalie Gramegna said. “It was a great performance through and through.”

Not only was the show enjoyable to watch, but it successfully conveyed the idea that a person should do what makes him happy. This moral explains all of the eccentricities of the Sycamore family—they do what they do, despite their talents and abilities, because it makes them happy. It also reveals that the Sycamore family is better off than so-called “normal” families in that they are genuine people and always filled with happiness. They love one another unconditionally despite their flaws and quirks. The drama club did a wonderful job of depicting this love and acceptance throughout the show.

“Mr. Hue wrote a great note in the program on how the show is extremely relevant in the context of post-Sandy recovery, but I think it goes even further,” senior Joe Mogavero, who played Grandpa Vanderhof said. “The love between the characters and their innocence and goodness are the qualities that we can all hope to achieve at any place, anytime.”

However, at some points, the play’s events were too chaotic and confusing to follow. There were several subplots that were interwoven within the main plot of the show, causing some scenes to be a bit overwhelming. The audience needed to pay close attention to what certain characters were saying in order to understand the direction in which the play was going.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the show was a huge success. It was filled with memorable characters, hilarious comic relief, and good morals that we can all learn from. The drama club did an excellent job this year and I am looking forward to returning next year to see its next performance.

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