You Can't Take It With You | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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You Can't Take It With You


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YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Candlelight's Forum Theatre. In the increasingly risk-averse, revival-happy world of American theater a producer could do worse than George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy about an eccentric, kinda bohemian Manhattan family. The characters are fully realized. The structure is strong, the story nicely paced. And the jokes are still quite funny.

In bringing the play to the stage William Pullinsi has done nothing extraordinary. You don't need to. You just need a cast comfortable enough with comedy to not try too hard: Pullinsi has filled out his cast with terrific comic actors such as Bob Thompson, Michael Kevin Martin, and Dale Benson, who give each line just enough spin. In fact, the only flaw in this production is Ami Silvestre's annoying take on Penelope Sycamore. In Silvestre's hands this sweet and daffy woman seems fake, condescending, and full of mean-spirited passive aggressiveness; she flashes a satanic grin in the second act when her simple parlor game provokes a bitter argument between her daughter's boyfriend's stuffy parents. But this sour note isn't enough to ruin an otherwise glorious revival.

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