Farmington High play shows ‘You Can’t Take It With You’

Two very different families are at the heart of Farmington High School’s fall production, “You Can’t Take It With You,” on stage in the school auditorium November 14 and 15.

You Cant Take It With You
Junior Ben Smentowski plays Tony Kirby and senior Megan Cromwell plays Alice Sycamore in Farmington High’s “You Can’t Take It With You”.

The Vanderhof-Sycamore and Kirby families collide because Tony Kirby, played by junior Joe Smentowski, falls in love with his stenographer, Alice Sycamore, played by senior Megan Cromwell. While Alice’s family is a collection of erratic-yet-lovable incompetents, Tony’s unhappy and uptight kin tend toward snobbishness.

You Cant Take It With You
From right, seniors Bryson Martin (Ed Carmichael) and Bassma Al-Allaf (Madame Kolenkhov) look on during a painful dance lesson with junior Elena Nicholson (Essie Carmichael).

An unexpected meeting of the clans convinces Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. In the end, Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, played by Ben Corsi, brings everyone together by imparting some important life lessons.

The play seems apropos in a way, as this marks the first production with Harrison High Students, whose school closed in June. Harrison High’s Dean and Sue Cobb have joined Farmington High teacher Lauren Keur to oversee the production.

You Cant Take It With You
Megan Cromwell as Alice Sycamore enjoys a light-hearted moment with Ben Corsi, who plays Grandpa Sycamore.

But while the stage families are feuding, the young actors have found nothing but harmony.

“I feel like theater has always been a place where everyone is accepted,” said Maddy Fohey, a senior who plays matriarch Penny Sycamore. “On the first day, we started hanging with the Harrison kids.”

You Cant Take It With You
Senior Maddy Fohey plays Penny Sycamore, who loves to write plays, but is not very good.

“The Cobbs and Ms. Keur were able to work together, and I think that allows both groups (of students) to work together,” said Corsi, who made the move from Harrison. “It was nice that it worked out so well.”

Audiences can expect lots of laughs and a little anarchy in this classic Moss Hart and George Kaufman comedy.

“Some things are offensive, but funny,” Corsi said. “They’ll constantly be entertained.”

The Sycamore household is very crazy, but loving, Fohey said. “We come face to face with a family that is exactly the opposite, and it is all about those families clashing.”

“Grandpa does what he wants, and decides to have fun with his life,” Corsi said. “That’s the Sycamore way, and he just taught that to everyone else.”

Other cast members include: Aidan Fetterman (Paul Sycamore), Parth Naninkanti (Anthony Kirby), Grace Ho (Miriam Kirby), Emmett Noonan (Mr. DiPinna), Destiny Shedd (Rheba), Jack Sweeting (Donald), Kat Andrews (Miss Henderson), Madison Ebiware (Grand Duchess Olga Katrina), Michaela Griffin (Gay Wellington), and Jolie Chene, Shayla Sanders, Zachary Olivier, and Caitlin Dougherty as Government Agents.

The Thursday and Friday performances start at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $10, general seating, and sales begin November 11 during all lunch hours or by calling the box office at 248-888-6274. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Farmington High School is located at 32000 Shiawassee, Farmington. You can follow the FHS theater program on Facebook.