Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You Can't Take It With You - Seattle Repertory Theatre

You Can’t Take It With You
Seattle Repertory Theatre
November 28, 2008 – January 3, 2009
Tickets and Information

Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You is a rumpus journey through the lives of two families as they intersect in the name of young love. When Alice Sycamore (Elise Karolina Hunt) wants to bring a potential suitor home from the office – the vice president of the walls street firm where she works – Anthony Kirby Jr (Ben Hollandsworth) she has to first deal with how her family will confront him. With the combination of her writer/painter mother who never finishes a work, her fireworks engineer father and his associate Mr. DePinna, her loafer Grandfather, her aspiring ballerina sister and her husband the printer, not to mention Rheba – the African-American hired help and her boyfriend, Donald, she has quite a handful. She does everything she can to make it work, but when the Kirby’s arrive only the play can tell what will happen from there.

Ben Hollandsworth and Annette Toutonghi. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Warner Shook’s direction is the very image of precision. With a show as tightly written as this, it takes a surgeon of a director with highly trained actors to make it read. As a cast and a production as a whole, they all nail it. The comedy is tight as metal work and the flow of the story is like the stock market itself – in and out of beauty and tragedy like there’s nothing to it. It helps, certainly, to have a cast of Seattle’s heavy-hitters: R. Hamilton Wright, Annette Toutonghi, Cecil Luellen, Anne Allgood and Michael Winters to name just a few. With an eighteen-actor cast the flow of the piece is critical and there is not a slip in sight with You Can’t Take It With You.

Michael Ganio’s set design wows the audience from the moment the curtain rises at the top of the first act. The lavish set that the Rep is so famous for in all their productions does not disappoint. While perhaps, as tends to happen, a bit over-indulgent, the set serves its purpose and certainly is a spectacle to behold. Michael Roth’s and Brendan Patrick Hogan’s music and sound design are impeccable. From the moment the first sound plays, the audience knows they are in for an audible treat for the evening.

Clocking in at about two and a half hours and including two intermissions, the Rep’s You Can’t Take It With You is a hefty investment for the evening but well worth it. It’s a wonderful romp through the ins and outs of inter-familial relations at their most bizarre and they are shown with the scalpel-sharp comedic precision that one hopes to see at a theater like Seattle’s Repertory Theatre.

Review by Nigel Andrews

1 comment:

TheAnxiousLife said...

Great review!