Amelia Community Theatre
Press Release
Submitted by Linda McClaine
August 12, 2021

Judy and Jim Tipton perform in “You Can’t Take It With You” at Amelia Community Theatre beginning August 13, 2021.

Set in the 1930s at Grandpa Vanderhof’s home in New York, family members live life to its fullest by following their individual passions, whether it’s playing the xylophone, tending snakes, printing menus, or making firecrackers in the cellar. Life may be a bit chaotic, but happiness is the goal for the quirky family, led by Grandpa (Bruce Gruber) who left the business world 35 years earlier to pursue his own interests and have more fun.

Granddaughter Alice (Jennifer O’Brien) loves her family, but has more traditional aspirations. She works for a corporation and has won the heart of Tony Kirby (Peter Sawyer), a company vice-president. When he and his parents arrive for dinner on the wrong night, the unconventional Vanderhof clan attempt to rein in their natural exuberance and odd behaviors, to make a good impression for Alice’s sake. Of course, nothing goes right and the evening is a disaster, plus Grandpa may have a serious problem with a government tax agent. Can young love survive family differences?

Written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, “You Can’t Take it With You” premiered on Broadway in 1936 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1937. The 1938 film adaptation won the Academy Award for Best Picture and was a breakthrough role for a young Jimmy Stewart who played Tony.

“Eighty-five years after its debut, this family story continues to resonate with audiences,” says co-director Peggy Strickland who shares directing duties with Tener Wade, ACT’s Executive Director. “Our large, enthusiastic cast is a delightful mixture of new and returning actors,” says Strickland. They include Doris Davis, Bob Duffy, Jim Ramage, Elmer Smith, Richard Smith, Jayme Taylor, and Judy Tipton who play family and staff at the Vanderhoff house. Ellen Blair and Bob Monti play Tony’s parents, the Kirbys. Portraying the assortment of unusual visitors are William Chirinos, Bob Eberle, Diana Herman, Jim Tipton, Sue Weiner, and John Weller.

Performances on the ACT Main Stage at 207 Cedar Street are at 8 p.m. on August 13-14, 19-21, and 26-28, with matinees at 2 p.m. on August 15 and 22. In-person tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Livestream tickets are $15 for an individual and $30 for a household. Call (904) 261-6749 for tickets and information or purchase online at ACT box office hours are 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

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