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You Can't Take It With You


edjames
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A venerable Broadway classic from 1936, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1937 and then Best Picture/Best Director (Frank Capra) Oscar in 1938, this long-awaited revival is now in previews.

 

This production has been in the works for years. It was supposed to have opened in 2010 and has taken 4 years to get to the Broadhurst Theater.

 

Venerable actor James Earl Jones leads the cast of "once was" TV celebrities and other supporting actors from other Broadway shows.

Let's see, there's Rose Byrne from Damages, Elizabeth Ashley, Kritine Neilson from Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Mark-Linn Baker (Cousin Larry from Perfect Strangers), Julie Halston, Patrick Kerr (Noel from Frasier) and others.(Ms. Ashley has about 12 minutes of stage time and plays Olga, the Russian princess, cousin to the former czar now working as a waitress in Childs on Times Sq hoping to move up to Schrafft's (only tried and true Nyer's will get theses referene to restaurant long gone!)

 

The play is a what could be called a screwball comedy is about a family in the Depression all living together in a large home. Grandpa (JE Jones) is wanted by the IRS for non-payment of taxes, Mr. Sycamore blows up fireworks in the basement, Mrs. Sycamore has been trying to write a play for 8 years, and the eldest daughter, Alice is in love with her handsome young lawyer boss but fears his family meeting hers as they are so crazy. Of course mayhem ensues when the well-to-do parents show up on the wrong night for dinner.

 

All in all, not bad. three acts, two intermissions. I would give it a rave but it was fun to see. For the price of my TDF ticket, I'd recommend it if you get a discount.

 

ED

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A venerable Broadway classic from 1936, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1937 and then Best Picture/Best Director (Frank Capra) Oscar in 1938, this long-awaited revival is now in previews.

 

This production has been in the works for years. It was supposed to have opened in 2010 and has taken 4 years to get to the Broadhurst Theater.

 

Venerable actor James Earl Jones leads the cast of "once was" TV celebrities and other supporting actors from other Broadway shows.

Let's see, there's Rose Byrne from Damages, Elizabeth Ashley, Kritine Neilson from Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Mark-Linn Baker (Cousin Larry from Perfect Strangers), Julie Halston, Patrick Kerr (Noel from Frasier) and others.(Ms. Ashley has about 12 minutes of stage time and plays Olga, the Russian princess, cousin to the former czar now working as a waitress in Childs on Times Sq hoping to move up to Schrafft's (only tried and true Nyer's will get theses referene to restaurant long gone!)

 

The play is a what could be called a screwball comedy is about a family in the Depression all living together in a large home. Grandpa (JE Jones) is wanted by the IRS for non-payment of taxes, Mr. Sycamore blows up fireworks in the basement, Mrs. Sycamore has been trying to write a play for 8 years, and the eldest daughter, Alice is in love with her handsome young lawyer boss but fears his family meeting hers as they are so crazy. Of course mayhem ensues when the well-to-do parents show up on the wrong night for dinner.

 

All in all, not bad. three acts, two intermissions. I would give it a rave but it was fun to see. For the price of my TDF ticket, I'd recommend it if you get a discount.

 

ED

 

Playing Olga in You Can't Take It With You must be where aging B'way actresses collect their pension checks. Colleen Dewhurst played her in the last revival.

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I too had the pleasure of seeing this last week and it's a fun evening of light, (and dated), entertainment. The crazy Sycamore crew is back on the boards, and led by James Earl Jones this revival, while maybe not a must-see, is worth a look for those who enjoy a rollicking farce. (Particularly fun coming the season after Act One the Moss Hart autobiographical play which dealt with the writing of this classic favorite.)

 

The cast is first rate and having a ball...and the show is almost a precursor to The Munsters. But instead of Marilyn surrounded by classic horror-types, we have Alice surrounded by a free-wheeling crowd of over-the-top eccentrics. As Ed describes above, the household is chaotic at best, with solid performances by each of the enormous (and recognizable) cast.

 

Some of the lines are definitely of their time, while others...comments about income taxes, being on relief, etc. have a certain contemporary twang. And then there are a couple moments that must have verged on scandalous in 1936...the psychological word game that they played while waiting for dinner was almost the Cards Against Humanity of it's time.

 

Mr. Jones is a wonderful presence on the stage, and surrounded by this talented crew it's a pleasure to be welcomed into the house. Julie Halston who only appears in Act II is truly unleashed, making the most of a small but riotous role, and Annaleigh Ashford as older sister Essie could probably use a little reigning in, but the pacing is quick, the lines are funny and the audience loved it from the get-go.

 

It's an old-fashioned Three Act show...which must have been trimmed because even with two intermissions, it comes in at 2:20. It appeared briefly on TDF, but there are many other discounts on Playbill.com, Broadwaybox, etc. I think the critics will enjoy it, (especially if they have a glass of wine with dinner before.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
... Mrs. Sycamore has been trying to write a play for 8 years....

 

Of course Mrs Sycamore is only trying to write a play because a delivery guy delivered a typewriter to the Sycamore Household by mistake.

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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Another screwball comedy I really like is Morning's At Seven. I think it was last done on Broadway in 2002. I saw a touring company do it when I was in college. If I'm remembering correctly (this was probably in 1982 or so the memory is fuzzy), I think one of the stars of the production was Laurence Hugo, the actor who had formerly played Mike Karr on the soap opera The Edge Of Night (for those of you up on your stories of yesteryear). I'd love to see it again.

 

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Another screwball comedy I really like is Morning's At Seven. I think it was last done on Broadway in 2002. I saw a touring company do it when I was in college. If I'm remembering correctly (this was probably in 1982 or so the memory is fuzzy)' date=' I think one of the stars of the production was Laurence Hugo, the actor who had formerly played Mike Karr on the soap opera [u']The Edge Of Night[/u] (for those of you up on your stories of yesteryear). I'd love to see it again.Gman

 

I really liked the 1980s Broadway revival of "Morning's at Seven," which ran for over 500 performance. I would not call it a scewball comedy though, and certainly not comparable to "You Can Not Take It With You." Of the two plays, I greatly prefer "Morning's at Seven."

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