Chantilly High School You Can’t Take it With YouBy Cappies • Jun 4th, 2013 • Category: Cappies
Your dad makes fireworks in the basement, your sister does pirouettes in the living room all day, and your grandpa spends his free time avoiding the government and raising snakes. Would you be excited to bring the man of your dreams home? This hilarious but unfortunate story unfolds in Chantilly High School’s production of You Can’t Take it With You.
A three act farce by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, You Can’t Take it With You, made its début in 1936 at the Booth Theatre in New York City. It ran for 837 spectacular performances, winning it a Pulitzer Prize for drama. Made popular by Frank Capra’s film adaptation, the plot is that of a twisted love story. The character of Alice (Stephanie Feeback) is innocently caught between her extremely quirky yet lovable family and Tony (Matt Calvert), the boy who’s stolen her heart. Tony’s posh upbringing acclimates him more toward money and fashion than real happiness, until he meets the Sycamores.
The spark at the root of this talented cast was clearly Feeback and her leading man Calvert’s spot-on chemistry. Their personal moments with each other, either face to face or across a room of chaos, were always heartfelt and honestly conveyed the relationship to the audience. Calvert had a striking stage presence and in-depth understanding of his character that rapidly separated him as a standout in the production. It was apparent he had motivation for his every move, and used comedic timing and inflection without need for unnecessary overreactions or inauthenticity.
Matt Manalel set off fireworks with his character of Mr. De Pinna, literally. He made use of his every moment of stage time, with lively and hilarious reactions that always incited laughter. His choices were energizing and kept the attention of the audience in a show that at times seemed to lag in pacing.
The set for this production was astounding to say the least. The intricate detailing of each facet looked professional. The set designers (Josh Lutz, Chloe Vasquez, Drew Pardo, and Mia Rickenbach) went above and beyond, creating a two-level tangible home. The details were so distinct that you could see wall hangings on opposite walls in another room, when an actor would swing open the door upstairs. The intricate hallways enhanced the set, even though they were never even used by the actors in the show. Other technical aspects were simple but appropriate. The lighting was clean and well executed, as well as the sound.
Whether it was through side-splitting comedic antics, heart wrenching realizations, or just the marvelous set, this production of You Can’t Take it With You left the audience standing in ovation.
by Sophy Meudt of Heritage High School
Photos by Kelly Johnson
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