Sunday, September 07, 2014

You Can't Take It With You on Broadway Needs More Kittens, Less Snakes

I was happily charmed when I attended Bloggers Night at  You Can't Take It With You last week.  Now playing at the Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street, the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman classic runs until January, 2015.  

The cast is headlined by Rose Byrne (a lovely Broadway debut) and James Earl Jones.  Kristine Nielsen, as mother Penelope, steals the show.   Annaleigh Ashford, as daughter Essie, is a close runner up for thief of said show.  Also on stage are Elizabeth Ashley, Joanna Day, Julie Halston (she's always everything you want her to be), Byron Jennings, Fran Kranz, Mark Linn-Baker, Reg Rogers, Will Brill, Patrick Kerr, Marc Damon Johnson, Karl Kenzler, Nick Corley, Austin Durant and Joe Tapper.

And there are kittens!   And snakes.  The only thing this production needs is more kittens, less snakes.  MORE KITTENS!

Jeffrey Richards and his producing partners have once again done what they do best - bring a fantastic ensemble together on a gloriously decorated stage to bring a historic comedy to life (remember Blithe Spirit and The Best Man?  Although, let's not forget August, Osage County - another genius ensemble play but a drama, produced by Richards et al.)

You Can't Take It With You first played on Broadway for 838 performances, opening at the Booth Theatre on December 14, 1936.  It was revived on Broadway in 1945, 1965, 1967, and 1983.  In 1938, Frank Capra directed the film version starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. 

If you're on the fence about seeing it, I beseech you to see it for Kristine Neilsen - she is an absolute genius and one of the very best of the American stage.  I loved her last season in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

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