By Annie Belfield
The In-n-Out on Van Nuys was filled with laughing teenagers, as the cast and crew of this yearâs upper school play gathered to celebrate their opening night on Friday.
The American classic âYou Canât Take it with Youâ was performed in Rugby Auditorium last weekend by a cast of 18 upper school students. The comedic script followed a slew of characters through 1930s America, illuminating the financial and romantic opinions of two divergent families.
âItâs a warmhearted, moving and often very funny story,â director and performing arts teacher Ted Walch said. âThe story highlights an important truth about all our lives. Do not live your life for money or fame, but, rather, live your life in a way that gives you joy.â
Led by Penelope Vanderhof (Sarah McMahon â08) and the grandfather Martin Vanderhof (Zack Goldman â08), the Sycamore clan redefined the term âfamilyâ in three acts. After Alice Sycamore (Sarah Brandon â09) and Tony Kirby (Harry Botwick â09) decide to get married, they must seal the deal with a dinner with both of their families. The elaborately dressed Kirbys arrive a night early and walk in on the chaotic nightly life of the Sycamores.
Penelope stands painting a portrait of Mr. De Pinna (Avery Rosin â09) in a toga, Ed (Sam Usher â08) proudly plays the xylophone and Essie (Hannah Platt â08) hopelessly tries to take ballet lessons from her eccentric Russian dance teacher Mr. Kolenkhov (Kevin Long â08). All the while, the Kirbys looked on with horrified expressions.
âIt was amazing how close the cast was,â McMahonÂ said. âThe plot was based around a crazy family, and so we became a family too.âÂ
âI thought it was a very energetic performance by the cast, and the play as a whole was very funny,âÂ said Oliver Doublet â09, who saw the production Friday night.
âYou Canât Take it with Youâ was performed at the Upper School in 1997, showcasing the young talent of Jason Segel â98 (of the television show âHow I Met Your Motherâ) and Jake Gyllenhaal â99 (âBrokeback Mountainâ.) Segal played Mr. Kirby and Gyllenhaal played Mr. De Pinna. In this yearâs production, Geoff Rock â09 and Rosin played each part, respectively.