By Misheel Enkhbat:
This year’s fall play, “You Can’t Take It With You!”, hits Spangenberg Theater this week. The production is about an eccentric family, the Sycamores, that lives in New York City. The Sycamore family is everything but typical or bland. Each member of the family has distinctive and unique attributes, except for ordinary Alice Sycamore, played by senior Melissa Cunha.
[pullquote]When Alice falls in love with Tony Kirby, the son of high-statured Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, much commotion arises. After strong disapproval and opposition to the marriage of Tony and Alice, Mr. and Mrs. Kirby find that the Sycamores are, in reality, a family of genuine people that really care and love each other, emotions and sentiments that the Kirby family lacks.[/pullquote]
When Alice falls in love with Tony Kirby, the son of high-statured Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, much commotion arises. After strong disapproval and opposition to the marriage of Tony and Alice, Mr. and Mrs. Kirby find that the Sycamores are, in reality, a family of genuine people that really care and love each other, emotions and sentiments that the Kirby family lacks. The clash between the families provides the drama and hilarity.
The cast itself is composed of a mix of fresh faces and seasoned veterans. Student Director junior Andrea Allen debuts her first work as the director of “You Can’t Take It With You.” However, Allen has much more experience with acting in theater and has applied her acting abilities to help her directing. “It’s not a different style of directing, every play just requires a different perspective,” she said. “I get to have input from a creative perspective. I like looking out from the perspective of all the characters instead of just one.” Allen worked hand in hand with the theatre director Jim Shelby to put this play together.
An aspect of the production to look forward to is the actors themselves. Sophomore Dennis Mashevsky plays Boris Kholenkhov, a quirky Russian ballet instructor. In the play, Kholenkhov is the ballet instructor of character Essie Carmichael. However, Carmichael is undeniably terrible at his job. “He’s a very energetic character,” Mashevsky said. “I usually get more subtle characters to play.” Although Boris appears as a trivial character, he is quite the comic relief in the plot.
Opening night is Nov. 10, but the cast was created and put together just after the beginning of this school year, giving cast members sufficient time to practice and perfect each role.
As actors have worked to rehearse lines and personify each character, the tech and lighting crews have pushed to refine their jobs in the production. Makeup artists and costume designers have also come together to enhance the visual aspect of the play.
The play reaches out to an audience that enjoys dramatic theatrical effectuation with a fun twist of humor and silliness. But besides the genuine amusement that this production presents, it also has an underlying message of love and compassion. “It tells people to follow their dreams which I think is important for them to hear,” Shelby said.