Sublimely screwball: “You Can’t Take It With You” to play at The Grand

ELLSWORTH — Meet New York’s Sycamores. The family’s patriarch “Grandpa” Martin Vanderhof happily abandoned a business career to catch and collect snakes. His daughter Penny writes terrible plays such as “Sex Takes a Holiday” on a typewriter left on the doorstep while her husband, Paul, makes fireworks in the basement. Their daughter Essie has devoted her life to ballet but can’t dance. Her husband, Ed, plinks on his xylophone.

The younger Sycamore daughter, Alice, is the only conventional one in this affable, but odd bunch in George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winning play being performed at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and 29, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at The Grand. In the 1936 play, written to cheer Americans up during the Great Depression, Alice is her family’s only breadwinner, working for a Wall Street banker whose son, Tony Kirby, falls for her. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby show up on the wrong night for dinner at the Sycamores, a culture clash ensues between Alice’s nonconformist clan and Tony’s starchy parents and the engagement is nearly derailed.

Directed by Lamoine actor/humorist Brent Hutchins, “You Can’t Take It With You” stars veteran actor Fred Stocking as Grandpa Vanderhoff and Tracy Green as Penny Sycamore.

“The first full production that I ever directed was ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ and it changed my life as a thespian’,” recalled Hutchins in his program note. “I went from being an enthusiastic, competitive actor, and set builder, to being an obsessed, and empathetic mentor.”

Among the numerous cast members are Abigail Green as Alice, Jaimie Graham as Essie, Garrett Moyer as Tony Kirby, John Hamer as Mr. Kirby, Carol Mason as Mrs. Kirby and David Schick as Paul Sycamore.

Admission is $20 per adult/senior, $18 per Grand member and $12 for students (15 and under). To reserve seats, call 667-9500 or visit



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