Monday, January 1, 2018

Auditions now being scheduled for “You Can't Take it With You”


by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
Directed by Maren Sugarman

WHEN: Wednesday, January 10 & Thursday January 11, 6:30-9:00pm; Saturday, January 13; 12:00-3:00pm; BY APPOINTMENT; CALL BACKS (if needed) Sunday, January 14, 6:30-9:00
Schedule yours at HERE
WHERE: interACT Theatre Productions, at The Baird, 5 Mead St., South Orange

You Can’t Take It With You is a popular, iconic comedy classic. Set in 1936, the play centers on the home of Martin Vanderhof and his extended family – a brood that “goes on about the business of living life in the fullest sense of the word.”

The play opens with the every day ordinary lives of the family: plays being written; candies being made; ballet performed to the music of a xylophone; snakes being fed; fireworks going off in the basement; communist propaganda being printed – the usual. Things start happening when Martin’s younger granddaughter, Alice, announces the imminent arrival of Tony Kirby into their lives. Tony wants to marry Alice, but she knows that her family is the antithesis of Tony’s family because he is the son of her boss, the wealthy founder and owner of Kirby and Company.

As preparations proceed for the two families to meet, plans are thwarted as the Kirby’s arrive for dinner on the wrong evening (accidently?). Proverbial hilarity ensues: hot dogs are sent for; dull honeymoons and sex are discussed; a Russian ballet master wrestles Mr. Kirby to the floor – the usual.

When all seems hopeless, Government Agents show up and arrest everyone. In the end, it is not just Alice and Tony’s love that wins the day. The true winners are the love of family, the love of friends, and above all, the love of life. A happy ending brings the families together and even includes a tax refund.


  • Martin Vanderhof (a man of about 75 “whom the years have treated kindly”) – The patriarch of the household, Martin (aka Grandpa) is Penny’s father. “He is a man who made his peace with the world a long, long time ago, and his whole attitude and manner are quietly persuasive of this.” Having given up his job 35 years ago to enjoy his life, he is happy attending circuses, commencement ceremonies, and collecting snakes.
  • Penelope Sycamore (Early 50’s) – Penny is an avid, amateur playwright, and painter. “Comfortable, gentle, homey… under that placid exterior there surges the Divine Urge.” She is the daughter of Martin, wife of Paul and mother of Essie and Alice.
  • Alice Sycamore (early 20’s) – The younger child of Penny and Paul, “she seems to have escaped the mild tinge of insanity that pervades” the rest of her family. She is the only member of the household with steady employment out in “the real world.” Although well aware of their “quirks,” she loves and is truly devoted to her family.
  • Tony Kirby (mid 20’s) – Mr. Anthony Kirby, Jr. is the Vice President of his father’s business, Kirby & Company, where Alice is his secretary. “Although he fits all the physical requirements of a boss’s son, his face has something in the idealist of it. All in all, a very nice young man.”
  • Essie Carmichael (about 29) – Eldest child of Penny and Paul, and wife of Ed. “…curious air of the pixie about her.” She makes candies and studies ballet (endlessly and fruitlessly).
  • Ed Carmichael (30’s) – Husband of Essie Carmichael. Plays the xylophone (actor need not be proficient), and creates various flyers and leaflets with his home printing press, while also helping to sell Essie’s candies.
  • Paul Sycamore (50’s) – Paul is Penny’s husband, father of Essie and Alice. He spends most of his time making fireworks in the basement with Mr. De Pinna. He also builds toy models.
  • Mr. De Pinna (40-65) – Mr. De Pinna is a former ice deliveryman. About 8 years ago, he delivered ice to the house, and never left. Spends most of his time making fireworks with Paul.
  • Rheba (30’s) – The “maid,” Rheba is perhaps not the most competent of domestic workers. But, she fits in with this family to a tee.
  • Donald (30’s) – Rheba’s boyfriend. He is “on relief,” and therefore spends most of his time with Rheba and the family. He enjoys bringing flies for the snakes, and helping out around the house.
  • Boris Kolenkhov (50’s-60’s) – A Russian émigré, Kolenkhov is Essie’s private ballet instructor. “He is enormous, hairy, loud, and very, very Russian.”
  • Mr. Anthony Kirby, Sr. (late 50’s) – The president and founder of “Kirby & Company.” He is the epitome of the extremely wealthy and successful, self-made businessman. He raises orchids as a hobby.
  • Mrs. Miriam Kirby (50’s) – A perfect match for her husband, Mrs. Kirby is the quintessential, high society matron. She has an avid interest in Spiritualism.
  • Wilbur C. Henderson (late 20’s-30’s) – Mr. Henderson is the “tax man,” and all that that entails.
  • Gay Wellington (?) – An “actress” with a distinct fondness for gin.
    The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina (60’s) – A Russian émigré, Olga is a waitress at Child’s Restaurant, Times Square. Her cousin was Nicholas II, Czar of Russia.
  • Three Men – Agents of the Department of Justice.