You Can't Take It With You

MBU Fall 2021 Play Announced

Maranatha Baptist University is pleased to announce that the play You Can’t Take It With You will be the Fall 2021 mainstage production. This hilarious comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman was first produced in 1936, won a Pulitzer prize in 1937, and over the years has earned a coveted position among the top ten most produced plays ever. The New York Daily News, recently declared that “this play tickles the funny bone and touches the heart.”

The story takes place in New York City in the 1930s and centers around the cheerful, erratic, yet lovable members of the Vanderhof family, who all live under the same roof. Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, the salty, philosophical patriarch of the family, raises snakes and doesn’t believe in Income Tax. His grown daughter Penelope fancies herself a playwright and painter but is accomplished at neither. Her husband Paul and their former milkman manufacture fireworks in the basement. Penelope and Paul’s daughter, Essie, spends her time making candy and training to be a ballerina. (Her candy is good; her dancing is not.) Essie’s husband Ed has a passion for the xylophone and printing presses. Seemingly, the only normal household member is Penelope and Paul’s other daughter Alice, a Wall Street secretary.

Alice has fallen in love with and is engaged to Tony Kirby, her boss’s son, but is afraid her family’s quirkiness will turn off her aristocratic in-laws-to-be. Things go south quickly when the well-heeled Kirbys show up for a dinner party at the Vanderhof home 24 hours early. Mayhem ensues, and before the night is over, men in black from the Department of Justice show up and arrest everyone. The next morning when they’re released from jail, the elder Kirbys are incensed, and Alice is bound for the Adirondack Mountains “to think things over.”

Eventually, everything gets sorted out, and Grandpa Vanderhof shares his sage observations with Tony Kirby’s affluent father: “You’ve got all the money you need. You can’t take it with you. And what’s it got you? Same kind of mail every morning, same kind of deals, same kind of meetings, same dinners at night, same indigestion. Where does the fun come in? Don’t you think there ought to be something more? We haven’t got too much time, you know—any of us.”

Performances of You Can’t Take It With You, under the direction of Carol Senn Ruffin, are scheduled at Maranatha Baptist University for November 11-13, 2021—7:00 PM nightly, plus a 2:00 PM Saturday matinee.