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'You Can’t Take It With You' Comes to Westfield

The Westfield High School Theatre Department will present its last mainstage of the season, the comedy "You Can’t Take it With You" at Westfield High School on May 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. and May 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be reserved by calling 703-488-6430.

"You Can’t Take it With You" was written by the famous playwriting duo of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and is takes place in the mid-1930s in a large New York house owned by Martin Vanderhof, a lovable grandfather played by Joe Schumacher. This house is home to a wild array of peculiar family members and friends, including a Russian dance teacher (Derek Rommel), a constantly inebriated actress (Katie Hanna) and a bald man with a fixation on rockets (Reaves McElveen).

The show centers on Alice Sycamore and Tony Kirby, the young lovers played by Michelle Murgia and Jon Lawlor. They each come from families with completely different lifestyles, and the show explores the comedy that comes out of marrying two families together. This is Murgia’s first role in a Westfield mainstage, and she is excited to have one of the leads. “I’m so fortunate to have been cast as Alice. I’m glad that Mr. Pafumi saw something in me and decided to trust me with a lead,” said Murgia, a junior.

Megan Henry is Penny Sycamore, who is Grandpa Vanderhof’s daughter and Alice’s mother. Penny is a middle-aged aspiring writer, always trying to come up with the next cliffhanger for her stories. She’s married to quirky Paul Sycamore (Kevin Knickerbocker) who with his odd best friend, Mr. DePinna (Reaves McElveen), experiments with rockets and fireworks in the family basement.

“It’s a very old-timey show; you can tell it was written in the '30s,” said Knickerbocker. “I’m glad that I get to spend my last mainstage goofing off with my good buddy Reaves.”

Carolyn Agan plays Essie Carmichael, one of the Sycamore daughters, who is married to Ed Carmichael (Kevin Pearson). Ed is a goofy, less-than-intelligent ice cream salesman who loves to play the xylophone, and Essie is his young wife who is passionate about dance.

“It’s really exciting to have such a large part in this show just coming to Westfield this year,” said Agan, a junior, who transferred from Woodbridge High last September. “My favorite part is getting to work with the amazing pool of talent, especially all the seniors.”

Many of the actors in the cast are seniors, including Henry, Schumacher, Lawlor, Rommel, Knickerbocker, McElveen, Suzanna Ramsey, Diane Rogers, Emily Brown, Ashley Ford, and Katy Duncan. This is their last hurrah in Westfield Theatre and they are enjoying working with each other and with the up and coming thespians at Westfield.

As always, Scott D. Pafumi, Westfield’s theatre teacher, will direct the show. He is excited about finally doing a straightforward comedy. “I am intrigued by the title of this play in that our seniors, after having embarked on a four-year sentimental journey through theatre with me, will have to depart from the department. They can take with them the memories that they have created here, but they will leave me, all of their underclassmen friends, and Westfield Theatre behind.” said Pafumi.

To reserve tickets and for more information about "You Can’t Take It With You," call the Westfield Theatre office at 703-488-6430 or visit www.westfieldtheatreboosters.com.