byline Germaine Hupe
The members of the Winters Theatre Company invite their friends and patrons to meet the charming and eccentric Sycamore family, the central characters in ‘You Can’t Take It With You,” the first play of the 2014 season. The production opens on Friday, March 7, with a Champagne Gala performance and continues for 8 additional presentations, including matinee performances on Sundays, March 9, 16, 23 and evening performances March 8, 14, 15, 21, 22.
The Sycamores have their own way of dealing with the challenges of the Great Depression of the 1930s. They simply “do their own thing” and assume that everything will come out all right in the end. Grandpa Sycamore collects stamps, attends commencement exercises, raises pet snakes, and refuses to pay income tax. Daughter Penny dabbles in the arts as playwright and portrait painter, with little talent in either. Her husband and their boarder make illegal fireworks; granddaughter Essie is a would-be ballerina, and her husband Ed spends his time with his amateur printing press. Unfortunately he prints inflammatory slogans which he doesn’t understand and distributes them in the neighborhood. These are just a few of the many eccentricities of this thoroughly happy, but very non-traditional family.
Problems arise when granddaughter Alice, the only conventional family member, falls in love with young Tony Kirby, the son of very wealthy, socially prominent parents. Obviously complications occur and the hilarious situations increase as two very different life styles collide. This play, written by frequent collaborators George M. Kaufman and Moss Hart won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. The film version, directed by Frank Capra, was the Academy Award winner as the best film in 1938. Both versions have stood the test of time and remain popular today.