Find out who's really crazy when a couple of lovebirds bring their mismatched families together. The Antaeus Company, L.A.'s multiple award-winning classical theater company, presents You Can't Take It With You, the timeless comedy about love, life and living by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Gigi Bermingham directs the fully double cast production Oct. 18 through Dec. 9, with low-priced previews beginning Oct. 11.
Set during the Great Depression, You Can't Take It With You is the story of two very different families coping with love and searching for the American dream. The delightfully mad Sycamore family celebrates independence and freedom from convention, always with the requisite amount of chaos. The exacting Kirby family believes in rules, hard work and rigid organization. Merry mayhem ensues when Alice Sycamore falls in love with Tony Kirby-and Tony brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to the bohemian, freethinking Sycamore family residence for dinner. Literal and figurative fireworks erupt over the course of the evening.
"I love the diverse, colorful world of the Sycamore-Vanderhofs," says Bermingham. "They unconditionally accept absolutely everyone and are oblivious to social pressure and the harsher realities of life. When you enter their realm, you can just leave your troubles behind."
You Can't Take It With You premiered over 70 years ago, debuting on Broadway in 1936, where it ran for 837 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was the basis for the 1938 Frank Capra film starring Lionel Barrymore and James Stewart that took home Academy Awards for both Best Director and Best Picture. Since then the show has entertained millions in productions around the world.
Unique among 99-seat theater companies in L.A., Antaeus is known for "partner casting." In all Antaeus productions, two equally talented actors collaborate on every role, working together throughout the rehearsal process and enriching the creative experience. The You Can't Take It With You ensemble includes Kate Maher andLizzie Zerebko sharing the role of Alice Sycamore; Paul Eiding and Marcello Tubert as Paul Sycamore; Julia Fletcher and Eve Gordon as Penelope Sycamore; John Apicella and JosH Clark as Mr. Kirby; Shannon Holt and Amelia White as Mrs. Kirby; Nicholas D'Agosto and Jeremy Glazer as Tony Kirby; Tony Abatemarco and Jeremy Guskin as Mr. De Pinna; Larry Bates and John Wesleyas Donald; Ryan Vincent Anderson and Michael Hyland as Ed Carmichael; Kellie Matteson and Linda Park as Essie Carmichael;Rhonda Aldrich and Janellen Steininger as Gay Wellington; Jeremy Shouldis and Patrick Wenk-Wolff as Henderson; Jeff Doba andJacob Sidney as Boris Kolekhov; Veralyn Jones and Karen Malina White as Rheba; Caleb Chomer and David Glasser as Jim; andLawrence Pressman, Joseph Ruskin and Ned Schmidtke sharing the role of Martin "Grandpa" Vanderhof.
Scenic design for You Can't Take It With You is by Tom Buderwitz; lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick; costume design is by A. Jeffrey Schoenberg; sound design is by Jeff Gardner; properties design is by Heather Ho; and the production stage manager is Gil Tordjman.
Gigi Bermingham has twice directed Antaeus's A2 Ensemble in The Thin Man, as well as ClassicsFest readings of It Can't Happen Hereand You Can't Take It With You. This production marks her mainstage directorial debut. As an actor, Gigi has won various awards including the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Natalie Schafer Award for her solo comedy Non-Vital Organs. With Antaeus: The Seagull, Tonight at 8:30, Mother Courage, Trial By Jury, Pera Palas (co-prod. with The Theatre @ Boston Court). Other theater: Hermetically Sealed (Katselas Theatre Co.); Anne of Green Gables (MainStreet Theatre); Cradle Will Rock(Blank Theatre); Henry V (Old Globe); The Cherry Orchard (w/Alfred Molina), Tartuffe, Non-Vital Organs (Odyssey); Twelfth Night (New York Shakespeare Festival); Cuckoo's Nest (Rubicon); Tragic & Horrible Life of the Singing Nun (Playwrights' Arena). Film: Rob Reiner'sAlex and Emma, upcoming Save the Date. TV: Hart of Dixie, Weeds, C.S.I., 90210, Days of Our Lives etc. Gigi is married to composer Matthew Goldsby and will be featured in Antaeus' holiday offering Cabaret Noel.
George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart are remembered as masters of comedic playwriting. Each made important contributions to the American theater on his own, but they are best known for the successful and influential comedies they wrote together. In their collaboration, Hart was primarily concerned with plot while Kaufman focused on the witty, sarcastic dialogue for which he was famous. From 1930 to 1940, Kaufman and Hart collaborated on seven plays that remain iconic American comedies, including The Man Who Came To Dinner, Once In a Lifetime, and Merrily We Roll Along. Kaufman also collaborated on musicals with Richard Rodgers, and George and Ira Gershwin, including Of Thee I Sing-the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Los Angeles. The company exists to create a family of artists and audiences and is dedicated to exploring stories with enduring themes. Taking their company name from the Titan who gained strength by touching the Earth, Antaeus members-many of whom are familiar to film and television audiences-regain their creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater. Members of the company span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film, television and on local stages, and are the recipients of numerous accolades including Tony, Los Angeles and New York Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, LA Weekly, and Back Stage Garland nominations and awards. Audiences, who never see an understudy due Anaeus's trademark "partner casting," frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors.
Performances of You Can't Take It With You take place Oct. 18 through Dec. 9 on Thursdays and Fridays @ 8 pm; Saturdays @ 2 pm (except Oct. 13 and 20) and 8 pm; and Sundays @ 2 pm. Talk-backs follow the performance every Thursday night beginning Oct. 25. There will be six previews, Oct. 11-17: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday @ 8 pm and Sunday @ 2 pm (no preview on Monday, Oct. 15). Tickets to the Opening Night performances on Oct. 18 and 19 are $34, after which all tickets are $30 on Thursdays and Fridays and $34 on Saturdays and Sundays; previews are $15. The Antaeus Company is located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, CA 91601. Free parking is available in the uncovered Citibank lot on Lankershim Blvd., just south of Otsego St. The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call 818-506-1983 or go towww.antaeus.org.