Quote of the Day: Just walking into any theatre gives me a thrill. Tony Kirby from You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George Kaufman, playing now through August 9, 2015, at The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, MN. Kaufman and Hart, a creative team for only ten years (1930-1940), but friends for life wrote collaboratively to great success, and as individuals, during the time of great change in America – WWII, stage to film, and silent movies to talkies. They knew how to make us laugh, cry, connect, dream, and engage. You Can’t Take It With You is my favorite play written by a couple of guys. I played Essie in High School, and wore a similar style red
dress to the one that Julia Valen wears in Act I of this production. I directed it at Greenway High School in Coleraine, MN with a no budget set. The kids came up with their own costumes, and I somehow roped in the janitor to help with light and sound effects. Beth played Alice in our production, and she accompanied me to opening/press night at The Jungle on Friday night. We laughed before most of the punchlines were delivered. We swooned at the cute costumes and elaborate set. Oh my, Tom Butsch and his crew worked hard at adding all the little details! It is an eclectic display, much like the characters who occupy this explosive comedy, a bit Norman Rockwell-esq.
It seems the Sycamores have been collecting borders, and hobbies, for the past eight years or more, ever since Grandpa Martin Vanderhof (played by the spunky Raye Birk) walked away from his high stress job on Wall Street. (And, he proudly states that he hasn’t taken a bicarbonate of soda in as many years.) The brilliantly talented Angela Timberman plays Penny, who’s a playwright because a typewriter was delivered to their door by accident. I’m not sure where Mr. DePinna (Jay Albright) came from, but he and Paul Sycamore (John Middleton) spend a lot of time in the basement making fireworks! “And, how do you explain Donal?” asks a frustrated Alice (Anna Sundberg) of her upscale boyfriend Tony Kirby (Hugh Kennedy). They’re in love, and it’s time for the families to meet. But, somehow, they come on the wrong day when chaos is the norm and frankfurters are on the menu. They play an interesting getting to know you game, that in the end, leaves them all feeling like they know each other too well. We have dancing, xylophone music, a Roman costume, home-made fireworks and candy, a Russian ex-pat and his friend the Grand Duchess Olga Katrina, a drunk actress, and many, many unfinished plays. To me, this is an ensemble show. You need all these unique characters and their quirks to contribute to the mayhem and message that you need to live your life the way you want to. “Oh, there will always be the folks who like to work. Let’em,” says Grandpa. You can earn all the money you want, but You Can’t Take It With You!
The explosive comedy by Kaufman and Hart You Can’t Take It With You is playing at The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis through August 9, 2015. Tickets are selling fast. Opening night was sold out. It is also the farewell performance to long-time Artistic Director Bain Boehlke. Thank you for giving so much fun, excitement, and meaningful theatre experiences to the folks who live in, and visit, the twin cities of Minnesota. You created a gorgeous little theatre with a big heart. I am proud to be able to help promote your art.
You can see more photos of this fabulous production on their Facebook page.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: How would you spend your days if you didn’t need to worry about making a buck?