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Chantilly: 'You Can't Take It With You'

Of all the things that can drive a person crazy, family can be the worst. Everyone has had at least something weird happen with family — aunts with embarrassing hobbies, parents who try and fail at karaoke, in-laws with strange new manners. But "everyone has a family," and Chantilly High School presents theirs in George S. Kaufman's "You Can't Take It With You."

The plot of the show centers on the unique, exuberant charms of the Sycamore family. Grandpa Sycamore has done nothing for the last 35 years because he didn't think work was worth it anymore. Penny, the mother, spends her days writing plays on a typewriter she got because of a mistake by the delivery company. Father Paul and mysterious resident Mr. De Pinna whip up fireworks in the basement. Essie, one of the daughters of Paul and Penny, is perpetually dancing ballet, and her husband Ed plays the trumpet in the middle of the living room. Add in the oddball lovebirds Rheba (the housekeeper) and Donald and the overpowering Russian ballet instructor Boris Kolenkhov, and you have one colorful group. However, the other daughter of the family and a Wall Street secretary, Alice, maintains some semblance of "normalcy." She's even fallen in love with her boss's son, Tony Kirby Jr. The problem? The Kirby family is too straight-laced to even consider letting Tony marry into such an outlandish bunch.

Marley Monk (daughter of director Ed Monk) and Faqir Qarghah (who also happens to play the role of Grandpa) co-designed the set. "Because it's such a crazy family," said Monk, "we get a lot more chance to have fun with the set. There's going to be many more special effects, and it'll just be a great show to work on." Kevin Jones, the head lighting technician, added that it was a "very good chance" to explore the capabilities of the department's technical crew.

Phillip Reid, a senior this year, noted that "this is a very good show for the department, especially coming off of our doing Christmas Carol. It's nice to have the balance of dramatic and comedic."

Fellow senior Jay Liotta agreed, adding, "As far as finishing a high school career, this is a very good show to do."