The theater program was languishing at Roseville High
School until the arrival of drama and English teacher, Ashley White. I
could see from this production of You Canít Take It With You that
the program is definitely on the rebound.
You Canít Take It With You
is a classic of the American theatre. Set in the 1930s, itís the rich
boy/poor girl story in which the girlís quirky extended family is tested
against the boyís rich, boring parents and comes off as superior in its
It seems that for the majority of the players in this
production, even upperclassmen, this was their first acting experience.
Yet there was a lot of talent on the stage. In particular, Madison
Dodson as Penny Sycamore and Laney Rhodes as Alice Sycamore stood out to
me for the way they developed their characters. Marcus Wells was
Grandpa, the character with the most (and some of the funniest) lines.
Grandpa is the heart of the show, and Wells stood up well as the heart
of this production.
There is some wonderful humor in this script, but I
fear a lot of it didnít get across because it couldnít be heard clearly.
The Patti Baker Theater has good acoustics for musical productions, but
on this night the actors performed without body mics, and in the absence
of theatrical voice projection, a lot of the clever writing was missed ó
at least by me.
There was compensation for the subtle humor that was
missed in the physical humor. Emily Botnen played Essie Carmichael, the
would-be ballerina. Throughout Act One she flits around the stage
practicing her ballerina moves as she interacts with other characters,
effectively upstaging everyone ó and delightfully so. Botnen was so bad
in her dancing that she was good, simply hilarious as she came up with
one creative, clumsy move after another. Roseville High School has the
strongest dance program of our area schools, and I canít help but wonder
if she got coaching from the dance faculty. Itís hard to be that clumsy.
Braden Salisbury as Russian dance instructor Boris
Kolenkhov was another source of physical humor. According to the
playbill, this was his first acting experience, and one could see from
his impish expression that he was enjoying every minute of it,
accentuating every line with gestures of both arms to accompany his
gruff Russian accent. And I was impressed (and shocked) when he threw
John Wallasch (as Mr. Kirby) over his shoulder. That came off so well
they both could have futures as stunt men.
Overall this had to be a fun introduction to this
classic play for all the students in the production, and Iíd guess, for
most of the audience. It has me looking forward to the Roseville High
Theatre Companyís production of The 25th Annual Putnam County
Spelling Bee coming next spring.