Monday, October 3, 2016

review - YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU - Hale Centre Theatre

Mark Kleinman and Brandi Bigley
Photo by Nick Woodward-Shaw
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through November 15th.

"Just about everyone has that one relative who's a little bit different. But what if your entire family were a bit odd and you felt like you were the only sane one in the group? That's the basic premise for the classic comedy You Can't Take It with You which is about to celebrate its 80th birthday of originally opening on Broadway and is currently receiving a lovely production from the Hale Centre Theatre in Gilbert....centers on the madcap Sycamore family. Daughter Alice, the only relatively normal one in the family, has fallen in love with the young and wealthy businessman Tony Kirby. But can their engagement stand up to the major differences between their families?...Tony's conservative and slightly snobby family is well mannered and professional. His father is the president of his own Wall Street company and his mother is extremely prim and proper. Can the uptight Kirby family learn to let go and enjoy life to the fullest, thus ensuring a happy ending for Alice and Tony? Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's Pulitzer Prize winning comedy is a light endeavor with an ending you can see coming from miles away, but it's also filled with plenty of larger than life characters, big laughs, and even fireworks—both real and romantic...Director Cambrian James has assembled a cracker jack cast who perfectly play up the peculiarities of their characters yet never let the silly nature of the roles go over the top. ...Mark Kleinman is exceptional as Alice's grandfather Martin Vanderhof, the soft spoken voice of reason. ...Brandi Bigley is simply lovely as Alice Sycamore. She expertly gets across the conflicted feelings Alice has at being stuck between the man she loves and the family she feels protective of and cares about...She and Kelton White, as Tony Kirby, form a winning, natural couple, full of passion and fire, that you root to succeed. ...Laura Soldan and John Janezic are very good as Alice's parents with each providing plenty of warmth to these wacky characters. Soldan is delivering a simply joyous performance. Brittni Foskey Miner is an absolute riot as Alice's sister Essie, the would-be ballerina who is continually prancing and posing about the Sycamore home as she rehearses new dance positions.....Ami Porter and Ned Peterson convey an appropriate sense of refinement to the parts of Anthony's parents...James' quick pacing provides a breathless, effervescent air to the entire show that almost makes you giddy. ...While You Can't Take It with You may not have an intricate plot or a deep meaning it does touch upon the basic life lessons of how we should learn to let go and enjoy the simple things in life and how we need to focus on what makes us happy in order to truly get the most out of the lives we live. With an exceptional cast, clear direction, and impressive creative elements, Hale's production highlights these simple lessons while also making the most out of the chaotic silliness and wacky characters that Kaufman and Hart so expertly created." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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