Performers bring humor, nostalgia to BHS stage

Performers bring humor, nostalgia to BHS stageBy AMY ERTL, News Review Contributor

Last weekend, audiences were charmed by the BHS Drama Department’s performance of “You Can’t Take it With You.” The play, written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart was the winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and is dearly loved by the generations that have performed it. The small cast of 18 was directed by Tristan Kratz while Sarah Smith directed the ladies putting on a vaudevillesqe show before the second act.

The Parker Performing Arts Theater’s stage was transformed into the home of the quirky and comical Vanderhof-Sycamore-Carmichael family, and the curtain opens on playwright Penny Sycamore (Kamyrn Jordan) working on her latest melodramatic tale. Her husband Paul (Liam Jackson) tinkers in the basement with his fireworks. They are soon joined by their whole clan, including patriarch Martin Vanderhof (Justin Dela Cruz), a lively old man who has never paid his income taxes; candy maker and ballerina hopeful, Essie Carmichael (Felicity Browne); her musician husband Ed (Ryoule Incynderix) and Alice Sycamore (Jenny Weik), the only sane one of the bunch.

Alice has fallen in love with a young man named Tony Kirby (Jacob Masner), who is absolutely smitten with her as well. Although the couple is very happy together, Alice worries how their relatives will get along, since Tony comes from a well-respected and wealthy family, and the Sycamores are anything but ordinary. Tony is certain that everything will turn out fine, but Alice isn’t so sure. When the pair decides to introduce Tony’s sensible parents (played by Blake Rogers and Julia Ernst) to Alice’s oddball family, utter chaos ensues.

The Vanderhof-Sycamore-Carmichaels are offbeat and oh-so-lovable. Their strange ideas and crazy antics keep the audience laughing all through the play. And who could forget the hired help? Rheba the housemaid (Trinity Benitez) and her boyfriend Donald (Tyler Gremillion), who always seems to be hanging about; Boris Kolenkhov (Anthony Smith), Essie’s Russian dance instructor; and Mr. De Pinna (Jonathan Martinez), who often assists Paul with his pyrotechnics, also provide many laughs.

“You Can’t Take it With You” is performed with a combination of energy and maturity by this relatively small cast. The set was dressed perfectly with bright colors and plenty of kooky knickknacks to complement the whimsical cast in their equally fitting costumes.

The vaudeville showcase is a glamorous blast from the past. The singers are stunningly attired for their crooning beloved, classic songs.

If you are looking for a humorous and nostalgic evening, this show just might be for you.

The remaining performances are April 7 and 8. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Story First Published: 2017-04-05