TAP Tackles You Can’t Take It With You

TAP is at it again! This time they’re working feverishly to prepare George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s You Can’t Take It With You. This popular comedy won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and its on-screen adaptation won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. It seems that the students participating in this production have their work cut out for them.

“[The success of the Broadway performance] is not as intimidating as it is exciting. Everyone has their own style of the characters and you don’t want to completely copy the original play as it was, you want to make the characters your own and the play as memorable as possible, despite there being differences from the original,” says Reneé Rose, who plays the role of the Grand Duchess Olga.

The play centers itself around Tony Kirby and Alice Sycamore, who have fallen in love. They love each other very much, so Tony convinces Alice to marry him. This causes Alice to develop a severe worry that her eccentric family will never get along with Tony’s sophisticated family.

The couple, in an attempt to introduce the two families in the tamest way possible, decides to bring their families together over dinner at the Sycamores’ house. The Sycamore family is full of quirky characters with outrageous hobbies, which causes Alice to fear that Tony’s family will not accept her because of her family.

“I think Alice needs to understand that if a guy really loves you, he’ll accept every aspect of you, flaws and all, even if the flaw is an unconventional family. I feel like she overreacts to the situation, but that’s what makes the play so great,” says Aubrey Trecek, who plays Penny Sycamore, Alice’s mother.

When the families are brought together, the Sycamores are not prepared for dinner and the night is stricken with one disaster after another. Hilarity ensues as Tony’s parents face a frightening Russian ballet instructor, Alice’s mother’s party games, and the appearance of the federal government, all before dinner has been served. The play’s subject matter is very lighthearted and the performance sounds like a wonderful outing for families, couples, and friends.

You Can’t Take It With You received rave reviews when it appeared on Broadway. It may have an outrageous plot and silly characters, but the message behind it is enough to melt your heart.

“[The play] has a great understanding of how…family should care about who you’re with and you should get to be with who you want to be. It’s not your family’s decision, it’s your choice,” states Hunter Leathers, who plays Tony Kirby.

This message is very evident throughout the play, conveyed through the loving nature and witty banter of the families.

“I think it’s just a really good play in the fact that it…resembles all families, and…it can go to all age groups,” says Bailey Pietsch, who plays Alice Sycamore.

Rehearsals for the play started around the beginning of January, giving the cast and crew roughly two months to put the entire show together. The production has a fairly small cast, but everyone involved is enthusiastic and excited to be performing.

“The play is progressing very fast; we memorized our lines and [this is] the third or fourth week that we’ve been practicing three to four days a week,” says Leathers.

For some seniors, this could potentially be their final play with New Berlin West TAP.

“I am auditioning for the single female role in Of Mice and Men, our next play, but there are so many talented girls in our program I realize that this is possibly my last show here. This program has been the most important thing to me for these past four years, and it has taken me miles farther as an actress. The other people involved became some of my best friends and it’s terrifying to think about having to say goodbye. It’s a bittersweet experience,” says Trecek.

The cast and crew continue to put forth an enormous amount of hard work so that the performances will be fantastic when they’re ready. Their efforts will not be in vain, because it sounds like You Can’t Take It With You will be a smashing success!