REVIEW: Classic comedy charmingly captures a simpler time

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Tolstoy once wrote: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” However, he never said anything about what crazy families are like, an omission that playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart explore in the charming You Can’t Take It With You, which opened February 9, 2017 at the Duluth Playhouse.

Martin Vanderhof (Kevin Walsh), the head of an eccentric clan, does not believe in paying taxes. His daughter, Penny (Kirsten Hambleton), writes plays, while her husband Paul Sycamore (David Short) makes fireworks in the basement with Mr. De Pinna (Kirby Wood), their former iceman.

Essie (Hannah Smart), the married Sycamore daughter, makes candies but wants to be a dancer in the worst way, while her husband, Ed Carmichael (Tim Komatsu), plays the xylophone and prints cute little seditious phrases.

Alice (Louisa Scorich), the single daughter, has the Mary Tyler Moore role of being the only sane person in the house. The good news is she has found an equally serious gentleman caller in Tony Kirby (Jason Scorich), the boss’s son. The bad news is she has to introduce Tony to her crazy family.

Not to worry, because things will get way worse when Tony’s parents (the put-upon tag team of Kendall Linn and Ellie Martin) show up at this insane asylum. Just think of the prospective in-laws meeting in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” injected with humor growth hormone.

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Get Tickets!

What: You Can’t Take It With You

Where: The Duluth Playhouse (506 W. Michigan St, Duluth MN, 55802)

When: February 16-19, 2017

Performances: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm | Sunday @ 2pm

Tickets:  Available online at duluthplayhouse.org, by calling 218.733.7555, or stopping by during regular business hours (M-F, 9am-5pm)

Ticket Prices:  Adults Р$30 | Youth/Students Р$22 | Groups (15+) Р$25