‘You Can’t Take It with You’ at FLHS

Most of the cast for "You Can't Take It with You," at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday, April 30.
Most of the cast for “You Can’t Take It with You,” at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday, April 30.

Spring play opens May 3

A 1936 comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, “You Can’t Take It with You,” was made into a Frank Capra film in 1938, a TV adaptation by CBS in 1979 and another by PBS in 1984.

Now it is coming to Forest Lake High School.

The spring play will be presented Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, and Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11, in the Forest Lake High School auditorium.

All shows begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are general admission, $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors, sold at the door.

Even though the play is set in the 1930s, “It has timeless humor that is still funny today,” according to Director Craig Zimanske. “It moves at a fast pace that keeps the audience engaged.”

Molly Boland, a senior, stars as Alice Sycamore. Her family makes fireworks in the basement, keeps snakes as pets, holds dance lessons in the living room and prints communistic pamphlets in their free time.

Her fiance, Anthony “Tony” Kirby Jr., is played by Jarod Bowers, a junior. The fun begins when Tony brings his straight-laced, uptight family to Alice’s house for dinner—on the wrong night.

Boland, playing a relatively normal young woman from a very abnormal family, “has been a delight to work with,” Zimanske said. “She is a natural on stage and anticipates what I want her to do before I ask.”

Bowers, in a more serious role than he’s played in the past, “is adapting well to the character and bringing a lot of quirky humor to rehearsals.”

Boland and Bowers both had starring roles in “High School Musical” last fall as Sharpay Evans and Jack Scott.

They are part of a cast of 19, including sophomores Zach Marleau as Grandpa Martin Vanderhof and Amanda Hennen as his daughter Penny Sycamore. Grandpa’s interview with the tax collector is a highlight of the show, and the title comes from Grandpa’s lesson that you have to enjoy life to its fullest, because “You can’t take it with you.”

“Both Zach and Amanda have excellent characterization and comedic timing,” Zimanske said.

Other members of the cast include Matt Vincent and Allison Koneczny as Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, Jacob Rue as Paul Sycamore, Aryn Richie as Essie, Nate Brown as Ed, Aspen Lofgren as Rheba and Ryan Sudo as Donald.

Mr. DePinna is played by Graham Westphal, Boris Kolenkhov by Blaine Anderson, Olga by Beza Daniel, Gay Wellington by Kellie Wambold, and Henderson by Tommy Brockman.

Jack Rudman, Hannah Mack and Teresa Mahnke also have roles in the play.

A crew of 10 students stayed late on Fridays and came in all day on Saturdays to build the set. Technical Director Corynne Haslach, a recent college graduate with a degree in technical theater, helped with costume design, set construction and lighting.

Beginning March 11, the students rehearsed 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Monday through Thursday, except for this week, when they continued until 7:30 or later. Many additional hours are spent memorizing lines outside of rehearsal.

Zimanske said he chose the play partly because in the past he directed “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” another Hart and Kaufman play, and appreciated their writing style and humor.

The constant movement of 19 characters on a one-set show has been challenging, he said.

“It has been difficult to keep track of everyone’s movements and ensure that they aren’t left awkwardly standing in a corner by themselves. The kids have been very patient with me as I work and re-work it until it all makes sense.”

Do Tony and Alice find a way to stay together, or do they realize it just won’t work? Find out by attending one of the five performances at the high school.

The show is appropriate for all ages but may be too long for young children.