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Mount Vernon High School You Can’t Take It With You

By • Nov 16th, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Does your mother write dramatic plays every day, or does your father blow up things in the basement? Is your sister an aspiring, but awful ballerina and does her husband have a penchant for printing Communist maxims? If so, maybe you can sympathize with the trials of Alice (Deborah Kamara), the only normal member of the Sycamore household, as she tries to reconcile the differences between her loving, but extremely eccentric family, and the staid, respectable family of her fiancĂ©e, Tony Kirby (Keegan MacDonald) in Mount Vernon High School’s production of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, You Can’t Take It With You.

Deborah Kamara, in the role of Alice, portrayed her character sweetly. Opposite her, Keegan MacDonald as Tony Kirby was earnest in his love for Alice, although at times the chemistry between the two seemed lacking. Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff, played by Alex Dodson, gave a solid performance as the eccentric patriarch.

Some of the actors seemed to rush their lines and there were some dropped lines, but volume was never problematic. Also, a few of the character relationships were not well defined, although the family as a unit acted well together. One of the most consistent actors was Clare Cahill, in the role of Penelope Sycamore. She never broke character and was one of the most convincing actors on stage. Also consistent was Mrs. Kirby, played by Jenna Kraynak, as she was able to keep her snobbish, reserved character while she was surrounded by chaos and eccentricity. Maya Hugee, as the maid Rheba, was able to bring her character to life although she did not have many lines.

Providing comic relief, James Beveridge, had an outstanding Russian accent as the thunderous Russian, Kolenkhov. Emily Whitworth, as the drunken actress Gay Wellington, had skillful comic timing as she flirted with nearly all the male members of the Sycamore household and finally passed out, bottle in hand. Another comic actor, Logan Beveridge, played the unusual Mr. De Pinna, capturing his oddity in his strange saunter.

The technical aspects of the show were handled ably. Lighting (Nick Kellogg) was done well with only one noticeable missed cue and a creative red light for a firework made by Mr. Sycamore. The props and effects (Amber Hugee) were simple but effective, the most memorable being Mr. Sycamore’s fireworks.

Mount Vernon High School’s production of You Can’t Take It With You showed that doing what you love, even if it may be odd and unconventional, is so much more valuable than spending years selling your soul to fill your bank account. After all, “You can’t take it with you!”

by Anna Smith of Seton School

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