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CenterPoint Theatre's 'You Can't Take It With You' explores family bonds

CENTERVILLE — In December, the CenterPoint Legacy Theatre stage was filled with scenes from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a Christmas-themed play that originated from the 1946 film starring James Stewart. This month, a story from another Stewart film will be on the CenterPoint stage: the 1938 romantic comedy “You Can’t Take It With You.”

According to a news release from the theater, “You Can’t Take It With You” “continues to delight audiences young and old” with its story about two lovers, Tony Kirby and Alice Sycamore, who come from completely different families. Tony, who was “born with a silver spoon,” comes from a high-end family, while Alice’s family is described as “kooky.”

“When Tony’s snobbish mother insists on meeting Alice’s family, the evening at the Sycamore home turns into one wacky, whimsical comedy that will remind all of us that family can be stronger than money or status,” the news release states.

Nathan Riddle, who plays the part of Martin Vanderhoff, the grandfather of the Sycamore family, said that the show is “an honest look at life in general.”

“Through the eyes of (these families), we see past the stereotypes that in real life we struggle to conform to and how at the end of the day, it is family that matters most,” Riddle said in an interview. “It's often easy to get lost in worldly pursuits and end up missing what's really most important.”

“You Can’t Take It With You” marks six shows that Nathan Riddle has performed with his wife, Emily Riddle, who plays the part of Alice's artistic mother, Penelope Sycamore. According to Emily Riddle, the couple has played young lovers, husband and wife, and will now be playing father and daughter on the CenterPoint stage.

“It is always a joy to work with my wife, Emily,” Nathan Riddle said. “I think our husband-wife relationship helps us in our craft. Theater is about telling a good story, and having an authentic relationship to start with often feeds into our creating deeper characters for the audience.”

Emily Riddle said she loves portraying a family on stage, adding that it is “fun to work through those family dynamics together and embrace the quirkiness and unending devotion of the Sycamore family.”

“(This show) has such a heartwarming, uplifting message,” Emily Riddle said. “It is my hope that the audience will leave the theater with gratitude in their hearts and a spring in their steps, determined to hug their family members a little tighter and reconsider what is most important in their lives and where they're putting their time and energy.”

Directed by Jennie Richardson, Centerpoint Theatre’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” runs Jan. 6 through Feb. 4.

Content advisory: According to theater representatives, the show depicts one character smoking a pipe and contains a single instance of mild language.

If you go ...

What: "You Can't Take It With You"

Where: CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville

When: Jan. 6-Feb. 4, Monday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2:30 p.m. on the first and second Saturday

How much: $19.50-$25.50 for adults, $17.50-$23.25 for students and seniors

Phone: 801-298-1302

Web: centerpointtheatre.org

Email: kelseyschwabadams@gmail.com