Mercy and Xavier High Schools present
You Can’t Take It With You
November 29th and 30th
Mercy and Xavier High Schools present the comedic play You Can’t Take It With You on Wednesday, Nov. 29 and Thursday, Nov. 30th. The cast and crew have been hard at work while enjoying themselves as they prepare for opening night.
You Can’t Take It With You, A Comedy In Three Acts by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman, involves the twists and turn of the Kirby, Sycamore and Vanderhof families. The Vanderhoffs, an eccentric family, allows each member to follow his/her dream but their routine is disrupted when their granddaughter, who seems to be the only normal person in the family with a regular job, wants to bring her fiancé and his Wall Street family to dinner. The story starts to spin when Tony brings his parents to Alice’s house for dinner on the wrong night. The dinner is a disaster. Alice’s sister dances all over the place, her mother constantly typing on her typewriter and the dad is making fireworks in the basement. Family and guests ends up in jail! “Come see the show and laugh about how the families go from dinner to jail and to happily ever after, admits Juliana Claudio who plays Alice Sycamore.
“It has been a wonderful experience working with such a talented group of actors these past months. I chose a comedy this year to contrast with last fall’s production of The Crucible. It has been refreshing to work on a light-hearted comedic piece with a group who genuinely enjoy being together and authentically share laughter and humor. This is a student- centered project with student stage managers, business managers and stage crew along with a costume design, set/lighting crew. The students’ creative energy and enthusiasm fuels mine. Join us for an evening of insights and laughter,” explained Lorra Webb, Director of the show and a member of Mercy’s School Counseling Department.
Brigid Loughlin, a senior at Mercy, plays Mrs. Kirby. This is her seventh Mercy/Xavier theatre production. Jordan Leonardi a Junior at Xavier Mr. Kirby in his fourth drama production. “I think everyone in the audience can relate to a character or two in the play. We all have “those people” in our families,” stated Loughlin.
“I love the cohesiveness of the cast; we are extremely close. When I was younger, I was part of the stage crew of other plays. Coming to Xavier, I decided to give acting a try and discovered that I like being in the limelight,” stated Leonardi. Brian Farrell, a senior at Xavier, jumped in to comment, “I have seen Jordan’s talent explode over the past few years. He has grown to new levels as an actor and is fun to work with.”
Brian began acting at a very young age. His older sister would write plays and he would perform them. “My family would say I was born to perform. I feel that is true as the stage is my home,” explained Farrell. Brian brings the role of Tony Kirby to life. In the play, Tony is engaged to Alice, played by Juliana Claudio. “It is the second time we are a couple as we were married in The Christmas Carol, playing the roles of Fred and Julia Scrooge. Audiences just have to love my eccentric and unique family in You Can’t Take It With You. You have no choice but to laugh with us when you see the play,” added Claudio.
The glue that hold everyone together in the show is Rheba, the maid, played by Claudia Tapler. “Family members come to me for advice; I console others; I’m normal like Alice but even she comes for advice from me,” notes Tapler. Claudia began performing at a young age, too. “I was raised with my Godmother, who has a degree in vocal performance, organizing church shows. If she needed characters, she would seek out my cousins and me and we were given parts in her shows. I liked performing in middle school, being here at Mercy have become by breakout years. I was in the cast of The Crucible which is a very serious production. I am liking the change to a comedy this year. My family tells me I am funny. I guess I can say in real life I am kind of like Rheba – I hold my family together and my light- heartedness keeps my family from over stressing. Ms. Webb is a great director; she encourages us to
ad- lib in this show. She tells us, “See a space, add the line,” and we do!” explained Claudia.
Brian Farrell told that when he saw the cast list posted he was surprised to be cast as Tony Kirby. “I felt I am not like Tony at all. I asked myself, “Who did I hurt, why am I being punished?” I have found the role of Tony is a blessing. I told myself to “Tame the lion; get off the struggle bus.” Tony is not a punishment; he is a responsibility calling me to lead by example. It is not the character one is cast, it is what I bring to the character to elevate the actors to be the life of the show. Every day I wake up, my goal for the day is to help people appreciate that they make their Tony Kirby, their best self.”
You Can’t Take it With You opens Wednesday Nov. 29th at 7:00 pm in Mercy High School’s auditorium with the second show being Thursday, Nov. 30th at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10.00 for adults. Tickets are available at the door the night of each show.
You Can’t Take It with You Company List
Penelope Sycamore – Grace O’Brien
Essie – Emily Acri
Rheba – Claudia Tapler
Paul Sycamore – Jack Welsh
Mr. DePinna – William Lallier
Ed Carmichael – Liam Reeder
Donald - Wylie Malcohm
Martin Vanderhof – Aiden Cardozo
Alice Sycamore – Juliana Claudio
Henderson – Sebby Fazzino
Tony Kirby – Brian Farrell
Boris Kolenkhov – Lucas Cacace
Gay Wellington – Amanda Grecco
Mr. Anthony Kirby – Jordan Leonardi
Mrs. Kirby – Brigid Loughlin
Olga Katrina – Abby Malczon
G- Man 1 – Jim Kevin Galasso
G- Man 2 - Josh Aresco