By Sarah Browning, Staff Writer

Asbury University’s Theatre & Cinema Performance program will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and Broadway hit “You Can’t Take It With You” in the Greathouse Theatre in October and November. The show holds moments of the ridiculous, hilarious and heartwarming, teaching a message of value we can all learn from.

Director Jeff Day said, “The Sycamores are a family that believe it’s more important to do what makes you the happiest instead of what makes the most money, because you can take your relationships with you when you leave this world, but can’t take money with you.”

The comedy centers around the wacky Sycamore family. Grandpa Martin Vanderhof is an eccentric. His daughter Penelope is a happy, unpublished playwright, and her husband Paul, makes fireworks in their cellar. Their children are Essie, a dedicated but terrible ballerina, and Alice. Alice has a boyfriend named Toby Kirby, and when Toby accidentally brings his parents to meet the family a day before their planned dinner party, chaos erupts between the Sycamores and the Kirbys.

Senior Nick Martinez plays Kolenkov, a close friend of the Sycamore family. He said, “My favorite part about my character is that he’s a ballet instructor and he’s Russian! It’s so hilarious, but it’s probably my most challenging role yet.” He notes that you have to watch out for Kolenkov, because he is friendly and polite, but a little over-the-top.

To the audience, Martinez said, “I want them to have a great time and feel like they’re right there, living life with these characters. I want them to learn that sometimes the most odd people are the most lovable.”

“The cast of this show is so talented and each character brings something different to the piece,” said junior Brenna Wood. She has been thrilled to play Essie, work with the cast and even do some of the costume design.

“In real life, we don’t always focus only on what makes us happy, so it’s really fun to play with that idea as Essie. She is true to herself and dedicated to what she loves, even if she may not have a future in it,” Wood said.

“You Can’t Take It With You” will be running in the Greathouse Theatre Oct. 26-28 and Nov. 2-4. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available for online purchase at asbury.edu/Theatre ($5 for students and seniors, $7 general admission).

Photo by Eliza Tan