YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU: Delightful Madness at The Dramateurs

by Patricia Bradford

The Dramateurs, Inc. at the Barn Playhouse continue its 2015 season with the Kaufman and Hart comedy classic YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU!

At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before you realize that if they are mad, then the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. Tony, the attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore house on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage to Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores find it hard to understand Alice’s view. Tony knows the Sycamores live the right way with love and care for each other, while his own family is the one that’s crazy. In the end, Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores after he happens in during a visit by the ex-Grand Duchess of Russia, Olga Katrina, who is currently earning her living as a waitress.

On its opening night in December of 1936, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU became an instant commercial hit. Since then, the play’s popularity has never waned; it has been successfully staged by theaters of all sizes for over eight decades. In his New York Times review, Brooks Atkinson described YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, as “a spontaneous piece of hilarity” composed with “a dash of affection to season the humor” by two writers with “a knack for extravagances of word and episode and an eye for hilarious incongruities.”

The original Broadway production ran for 837 performances. It included noted Broadway professionals Josephine Hull and Henry Travers. It has consistently been produced for 87 year, ranging from high schools and colleges to community theatres, regional professional theatres and Broadway revivals. A very successful film version of the play was directed by Frank Capra and featured James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Jean Arthur, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director in 1938.

The Dramateurs’ production opens June 12 and continues through June 20. Tickets are $17 with a $2 discount for juniors and seniors. The production run includes a matinee performance June 14 at 2:00 pm and a 7:30 pm performance on Thursday June 18. For more information visit the theater’s website, for more information and to reserve tickets.

Theater/Organization The Dramateurs Inc. at the Barn Playhouse
Theater/Organization Website:

Theater/Organization Address: 1600 Christopher Street Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania 19403 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (610) 539-2276

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