Cappies: Pattonville's High School Production of Classic Is Sincere and Honest
Pattonville High School's performance of "You Can't Take It With You" does justice to a show "who’s absurdity can only be experienced by watching it."
By Audrey Lipsmire of Northwest School District
Rockets explosions, spur of the moment xylophone concerts, and unannounced government raids—the Sycamore family is all too familiar with these occurrences. The time old tale is always the same: two young adults fall in love; but the two sets of families do not experience love at first sight.
The families are not to the point of rivalry, such as the Capulets and the Montagues were, but nonetheless, they are polar opposites. Pattonville High School recently put on a production of “You Can’t Take it With You”, a show who’s absurdity can only be experienced by watching it.
The show revolves around the rather odd and unconventional life of the Sycamores as their daughter Alice attempts to grapple with pursuing a relationship with her love Tony Kirby, son of a Wall Street hot shot, and staying true to her family.
The play, first performed on Broadway in 1936, was written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Since winning the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play has been reproduced all across the world and is now known as somewhat of a classic.
Pattonville’s production had no shortage of oddities and clearly exhibited the tension between the Sycamore and Kirby family. The Sycamore family was led by Anna Pirrie, who played Penny Vanderhof Sycamore, who kept in her busy sporadic character throughout the show.
Kaitlin Gant played Alice, the most common of the characters, with sincerity lending hand to the honesty of the show. Jacob Painter did a fine job of displaying Grandpa’s elderly wisdom with a calm and collected air.
The Kirby’s son Tony, played Aaron Landgraf, seemed to have a good grip on his character and showcased the characters transition of accepting the Sycamore family. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, played by Chaz Fox and Abby DiRie added to the humor with their noticeably distaste of the Sycamores.
Other notable performances were given by Megan Willingham, who played the comical drunk actress, and Kynesha Carey, who portrayed the Sycamore’s servant.
The set might have been the most impressive aspect of this show. Its multi room powder blue layout and intricate doorways, arches, and furniture allowed the ultimate chaos to seem somewhat organized. The props also added a lot to the character and allowed the actors to believably stay busy throughout the entire show.
The cast members were usually heard, and only a few words were dropped. The lighting added a nice contrast from when the house lights were on and off, and the stage was generally well lit. Colorful dresses, traditional Russian garments, and fur coats added to the eccentricity of the show with an array of colors.
With the help of snakes, typewrites, fireworks, and two insane families, the production present wise the advice to focus on the things in life that make one happy. Overall, Pattonville High successfully exhibited the zaniness of the Sycamore family and proved that true love can overcome the wildest of circumstances with their production of “You Can’t Take it With You”.
This review was submitted by The Cappies, a program that trains high school theater and journalism students as critics. The students then attend shows at other schools, write reviews and publish those reviews in local news outlets. At the end of the year, student critics vote for awards that are presented at a formal Cappies Gala.