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New Dawn presents comedy 'You Can't Take it With You'

If you go

• What: “You Can’t Take it With You”

• When: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, today through Sunday, Thursday to Aug. 26, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

• Where: New Dawn Theater, 3087 Main St., Duluth

• Cost: $12 to $15

• For more information: Visit www.newdawntheate...>

DULUTH — It doesn’t matter who you are — you have a family and sometimes the people in it may seem a little crazy, over the top and downright embarrassing.

Today, New Dawn Theater presents “You Can’t Take it With You,” a comedy about the importance of family, love and doing the things that you happy, even through difficult times.

“I think the audience is going to enjoy the sweetness of the family,” Director Judy McElroy said. “They are all unique characters on their own. Their love for one another is undying.”

The story takes place in 1936 during the Great Depression with the Sycamores, a large family living under one roof getting by week-to-week on sales of handmade crafts, their grandfather’s pension and one daughter’s salary at a corporate job. They don’t mind that they don’t have a lot of money though — they do what they want and have each other.

“It’s a story about a very eccentric family that nobody works, except one daughter,” McElroy said. “They do what they want to do.”

Here’s the breakdown: Mother Penny writes plays, father Paul makes fireworks with Mr. Depinna, who moved in eight years ago, daughter Essie makes candy and practices ballet, son-in-law Ed delivers candy, has a printing press and plays the xylophone, grandpa Martin Vanderhof lives off of his pension, so he visits the zoo and college commencement speaks often, and daughter Alice is the only one with a real job.

Did you get all of that? Good, because there’s more.

Well, after working in the office for months, Alice falls in love with the vice president the company where she works, Tony Kirby, but he comes from a wealthy, “normal” family. When the two get engaged, Alice worries about the Kirbys meeting her family.

When they meet for dinner, the situation spirals out of control because these families have nothing in common — or so they think.

“I thought one of the things that made this family unique was that they made the personal satisfaction of the members of the family a high priority,” said John Laszlo, who plays grandpa. “The Kirbys in contrast make success, in the conventional sense, their highest priority and they’re obviously unhappy because their life is out of balance.”

With the diversity of characters and situations, cast members believe that the audience will be able to relate to the nutty Sycamores.

“Once people get into the play, especially with the funnier lines, it’s going to come very familiar to them, whether they’d like to admit it or not,” Barbara Allen said, who plays Penny. “We all have an Ed in our family and a Grandpa like figure in our family and we all have that crazy aunt like Penny in our family, whether they are related or not.”

The play runs through Sept. 2.