Scyamores visit Rugby

The In-n-Out on Van Nuys was filled with laughing teenagers, as the cast and crew of this year’s upper school play gathered to celebrate their opening night on Friday.

The American classic “You Can’t Take it with You” 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.

“It’s a warmhearted, moving and often very funny story,” director and performing arts teacher Ted Walch said. “The 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.”

Led by Penelope Vanderhof (Sarah McMahon ’08) and the grandfather Martin Vanderhof (Zack Goldman ’08), the Sycamore clan redefined the term “family” in three acts. After Alice Sycamore (Sarah Brandon ’09) and Tony Kirby (Harry Botwick ’09) 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 ’09) in a toga, Ed (Sam Usher ’08) proudly plays the xylophone and Essie (Hannah Platt ’08) hopelessly tries to take ballet lessons from her eccentric Russian dance teacher Mr. Kolenkhov (Kevin Long ’08). All the while, the Kirbys looked on with horrified expressions.

“It was amazing how close the cast was,” McMahon  said. “The plot was based around a crazy family, and so we became a family too.” 

“I thought it was a very energetic performance by the cast, and the play as a whole was very funny,”  said Oliver Doublet ’09, who saw the production Friday night.

“You Can’t Take it with You” was performed at the Upper School in 1997, showcasing the young talent of Jason Segel ’98 (of the television show “How I Met Your Mother”) and Jake Gyllenhaal ’99 (“Brokeback Mountain”.) Segal played Mr. Kirby and Gyllenhaal played Mr. De Pinna. In this year’s production, Geoff Rock ’09 and Rosin played each part, respectively.