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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • SEPS cast and crew gear up for performances this weekend

  • "You Can't Take it With You" is this year's performance.
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  • Sleepy Eye High School is teaming up with the New Ulm Area Community Theater (NUACT) to present the classic comedy, "You Can't Take it With You," under the direction of Paul Warshauer. 
    Written and performed in 1936, and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Theatre in 1937, this hysterical comedy has been making audiences laugh for over 75 years.
    "You Can't Take it With You," is a perfect comedy for this election year," Paul said. The play looks at two different families; one slightly eccentric and other, very traditional.
    "The country is very divided and people are making judgement calls about people they don't even know," Paul added. "This play is about tolerance for other individuals." 
    The Vanderhof family at the center of "You Can't Take It with You," is a collection of cheerful and erratic (yet lovable) incompetents.
    First, there's Grandpa, Martin Vanderhof, the salty and philosophical patriarch of this wacky family and a man who made his peace with the world, if not the Internal Revenue Service, long ago.
    Then there is his daughter, Penelope Sycamore (a cheerful and unpublished playwright, at least at the moment) and her husband, Paul (who happily manufactures fireworks in the cellar).
    Into this whirlwind of activity comes Tony Kirby, Alice's boyfriend, the son of her boss, and the epitome of normality and success in the business world. Tony is amused by Alice's family and loves Alice in spite of the craziness in the family home. Alice, on the other hand, is sometimes merely chagrined, sometimes mortified by what happens when she brings Tony to the house.
    Despite the differences between the two families, Alice and Tony are soon engaged, and (over Alice's protests) a dinner party is planned for Tony's parents—at the Vanderhof home. Alice, of course, has misgivings about bringing Tony's strait-laced parents into this maelstrom of activity: However, as with most things in the Vanderhof family, things don't go exactly as planned.
    Tony arrives with his parents in tow—but mistakenly arrives the night before the planned dinner party. And the Vanderhof tribe, rather than being on their best behavior are at their unplanned and hilarious worst.
    The Kirbys are angry at their son and disturbed that he could love such a family, but he insists that he still wants to marry Alice. Everything, eventually, is brought back to the important center by Grandpa, as he talks to Mr. Kirby and to Tony about what is really important and teaches everyone some vital lessons about life.
    Performances will take place this weekend, Nov. 9-12 with evening performances Friday, Saturday and Monday at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday performance at 2 p.m.
    Tickets are available at the door one hour prior to performances. This play is produced with special arrangement with Dramatist Publishing Service and NUACT.

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